Colored Merchants' Association (CMA):
Black Grocer's Cooperative

Colored Merchants' Association (CMA): Black Grocers' Cooperative

Mass marketing and huge retail chains among white businesses precipitated the counter-organization in 1928, in Montgomery, Alabama, of the Colored Merchants' Association (C.M.A.), a black grocers' buying cooperative, established to enable black businesses to compete and survive. The goals were, by forming a group, to strengthen the profitability of black stores, offer more attractive shopping opportunities to black consumers, and raise the awareness of national advertisers of African Americans' buying power.

The C.M.A. in Montgomery was affiliated with the town's local Negro Business League and then spread to other cities. (DETAIL NOTE National Negro Business League) An article in the July 1929 issue of Opportunity: A Journal of Negro Life points out that National Negro Business League president Robert R. Moton participated in the growth of the black grocers' cooperative.


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