A look at the historical and present-day connections between democracy, land, housing and economic development. The history of the US is packed with people of color and poor people who’ve been stripped of their rights - to vote, to wages, to housing or even just the right to stay in the country - through incarceration, segregation, slavery and deportation. For just as long, black communities have created safety, and won a say in democracy, through buying and keeping land cooperatively. It’s not just history, either. Mark Scott is an organizer of #blacklandmatters, a group working today, and Tia Powell Harris is the director of the Weeksville Heritage Center, Brooklyn’s largest African-American cultural institution, which is dedicated to preserving the history of the 19th century African American community of Weeksville - one of America’s first free black communities. This episode also features an exclusive report, Cooperation vs. Gentrification: Bed Stuy Strives to Stay Local, which explores ways people in the Bed Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn are using co-ops to find ways to benefit local communities and prevent the displacement caused by gentrification.