Motown Museum to Celebrate Black Owned Businesses and Berry Gordy


Motown Museum will celebrate black businesses and the entrepreneurial legacy of Motown Records’ founding Gordy family as part of Black History Month celebrations.

Hitsville USA Motown Museum in Detroit (Credit Encircle Photos)

The Black Legacy program runs 6-8 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Wayne State Industry Innovation Center (formerly NextEnergy Center) at 461 Burroughs St. in Detroit. Attendees will hear from several black-owned businesses in metro Detroit including natural haircare brand Rock the Fro, Brazelton’s Floral, Southfield auto dealership Avis Ford and menswear clothing retailer Mature.

“Berry Gordy turned an $800 loan from his family savings club into a historic music empire — and one of the most successful and recognizable black businesses in the world. That legacy of innovation, ambition and business acumen has left an indelible mark on Detroit — and on the broader cultural landscape,” Motown Museum CEO Robin Terry said in news release.

Paul Riser Jr., managing director of TechTown and son of Motown Records musician and arranger Paul Riser Sr., will moderate a panel discussion on the importance of black-owned businesses. The participating businesses will share their entrepreneurial hardships and successes.

After being away from her family business for more than 50 years, Alice Brazelton, owner of Brazelton’s Floral, said one of the challenges she faces is equipping the business to run in the 21st century.

Brazelton took over the business when her brother died; she’s been managing it for a little less than a year. The floral shop at 2686 W. Grand Blvd. in Detroit, was founded by her father more than 70 years ago.

“We need to follow a principle to pass it on,” Brazelton said, “don’t keep it for ourselves … that’s what legacy is all about.”

Camille Walker Banks, executive director of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses at Wayne State University, will also provide business advice during the event, the release said.

This is the museum’s second year hosting the event, said Raina Baker, Motown Museum program manager.

About 75 people attended the free event last year; the museum anticipates around 100 people this year, according to Baker.


Source CRAIN’s Detroit Business

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