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In 1953 I was born into a somewhat segregated Black community in my hometown of Detroit. My pediatrician was Black. My mother’s favorite dress shop was Black owned. My father was a co-owner of a Black owned business. The hospital of my birth was Black owned. And as a teenager I volunteered at a Black owned hospital. Black entrepreneurship was simply a way of life for me.
Now some 60 years later the historic significance of Black owned businesses resonates as the forerunners of our enterprises today. The businesses of yesteryear operated out of courage, necessity and innovation. They laid the foundation and endured the hardships of their era.
Today my colleague Bill Wells and I will pay tribute to the innovators, entrepreneurs and advocates of yesterday and today during this special Black History Month Tribute to the drivers of Black economic development.
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