How far back during U.S. slave history do Black worker cooperatives go? It’s tempting to think this started after 1865 and the Emancipation Proclamation, but it goes back a lot further than that. The coops were wide-ranging in what they produced and what mutual aid they promoted: everything from freedom farms, to grocery cooperatives to quilting bees. Under the protective wing of the Knights of Labor, they formed cooperative stores. How did worker coops impact the Black Power and Civil Rights Movement? How were they in turn affected by these social movements?