Detroit holds promise, challenges for black businesses

Frank Witsil,
Detroit Free Press
February 28, 2016

Ken Harris
Ken Harris is the president and CEO of the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce and is photographed in the conference room of their office in downtown Detroit in 2011. (Photo: Kimberly P. Mitchell, Detroit Free Press)

Ken Harris, the president of the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce, aims to build the largest chamber of commerce in Michigan — and he believes, given the historical successes black entrepreneurs and leaders have had in Detroit that it’s a realistic goal.

“Detroit,” he said, “is different than a lot of other cities in the entire country.”

African-Americans have accumulated wealth and power here — in part, because of the auto industry as well as social, political and business networks that have developed — that are not found in other communities in America, he said.

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