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The evolution of the National Black Chamber of Commerce – Part 4

Beyond the Rhetoric

Harry C. Alford & Kay DeBow oped contribuor | 7/18/2019, midnight

If any of you have watched the TV One sitcom “Martin” with Martin Lawrence, you can remember the picture of the apartment building that Martin and Gina resided in. It’s the Parkstone Apartments in Indian Village. Kay called me about three weeks into our affair and told me to bring my check book because she found a great apartment for us with a view of the Detroit skyline. We will make a deposit and first month’s rent. We can move in sometime next month.

In retrospect, who was coaching who? It was like the old Marvelettes tune: “When the Hunter gets Captured by the Game.” (http://bit.ly/Marvelettes) I did not balk one inch!

I was cool with it as my parents were retired in Louisiana. However, Kay’s parents were in nearby Indianapolis and were “threatening” to visit soon. Kay’s response to that: “We are going to have to get engaged. Next weekend let’s find a wonderful engagement ring in Grosse Pointe.” I did not bat an eye.

Kay Debow

LOL! Revisionist history. Somewhat. Harry’s strong confidence is ok with me since he is equipped with a large portfolio. Let’s be clear, I did not ask for coaching, I did not. But he is right about the sales business in that day.

It was very male-dominated, sexist and at my first sales conference video of the Ku Klux Klan was shown. But I pushed on in my company car learning the grocer chain market and the Chaldean grocery market. Chaldean Americans are Christians and descendants of people presently located in the Middle Eastern nation of Iraq. The majority of Chaldean Americans live in Detroit, Michigan. Harry does make me sound like an “in charge woman” I respect him for recognizing.

We did dine at a romantic French restaurant in Ontario, Canada called Ducks on the Roof. It was a lovely place but most memorable when we left the restaurant, the maître d’ ran after us yelling “Monsieur, Monsieur! You only paid the bar tab!” What fun we had. My Fair Lady, Lafayette Orleans Club, living in an Indian Village apartment where if you stretched your neck a little bit that way you could see Belle Isle Park.

Harry C. Alford is the co-founder, president/CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce ®. Kay DeBow is the co-Founder, executive vice president of the NBCC, Website: www.nationalbcc.org Emails: halford@nationalbcc.org kdebow@nationalbcc.org

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