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Drawing on the Lived Experience of African Canadians: Using Money Pools to Combat Social and Business Exclusion

Caroline Shenaz Hossein () and Ginelle Skerritt
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Caroline Shenaz Hossein: York University
Ginelle Skerritt: Warden Woods Community Centre

Chapter Chapter 3 in The Black Social Economy in the Americas, 2018, pp 41-58 from Palgrave Macmillan

Abstract: Abstract Trinidadian-Canadian Ginelle Skerritt was first introduced to susu as a savings device as a child in her homeland of Trinidad and Tobago. Her grandmother and mother were active in this African-Caribbean tradition as a way to pool money in Trinidad for business and livelihood needs. After migrating to Toronto in the 1960s, she watched her mother as a newcomer bring these collective banks to Canada and to find a supportive community. The family’s first home, vacations, and school fees were all made possible through susu. Susu provided her with the money to be the first person in her family to go to university. As a successful professional, Ginelle explores the ways in which susu has helped her, her family, and friends and why she participated in an adapted version of susu for more than a decade. This chapter explores the use of susus—also called money pools—by Caribbean people in the Canadian and the personal account of Ginelle Skerritt's family using the susu system shows that diverse financial services exist in major cities around the world.

Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1057/978-1-137-60047-9_3

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