Episode 5: Pamela Hilliard Owens and Guest Jamon Jordan.

Our monthly show dedicated to “Legacy Entrepreneurs,” featured Jamon Jordan as our co-host for the entire hour-long show. Mr. Jordan, who is the current president of the Detroit Chapter of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson in 1915). “Baba Jamon” as Mr. Jordan is known, is also the founder and CEO of Black Scroll History & Tours, through which he provides research opportunities and tours of Black Historical sites in Detroit. We discussed the history of Black Entrepreneurship in Detroit from the late 1700s through the present time.

Segment 1: Mr. Jordan first reminded us of the history of issues and activities that led to the formation of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915 (renamed The Association for the Study of African American Life and History) and the reason why Negro History Week (later expanded to Black History Month) is celebrated in February. Mr. Jordan also told us about little-known Black entrepreneurs (men and women, free and enslaved) who started and grew successful businesses in the late 1700s and early 1800s in Detroit.

Segment 2: Mr. Jordan discussed how Black institutions such as churches and other benevolent organizations worked hard in the 1800s and 1900s to support Black businesses and neighborhoods against many odds. He also reminded us that in the 20th century from 1900 through mid-century, the #1 source of funding for Black businesses was not the banks, but the numbers runners.

Segment 3: This week’s show concluded with Mr. Jordan outlining the history of “Black Bottom” and “Paradise Valley” in Detroit, how the areas grew and developed, often with Jewish businesses as the “fronts”, how and why the areas were destroyed by the white mayors of Detroit in the 1950s and 1960s in the name of “urban renewal,” and how those areas are now being redeveloped, primarily by today’s Black entrepreneurs and business people.

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