On Sunday January 14, my Executive Producer/writer of Family Pictures USA, Don Perry joined the weekly CBS Radio podcast, “Small Talk with Mark S. Lee” along with other guests: Kurt Rankin, Senior Economist, PNC Bank, Dana White, Founder and Owner, Paralee Boyd, and Karen Hudson Samuels, Executive Director, WGPR TV Historical Society. The podcast covered various topics concerning the state of Detroit’s economy, including upcoming projects and businesses coming to the Motor City.
Host Mark Lee spoke with Don about Family Pictures USA, for which my trusted production team filmed in Detroit in the summer of 2017 in partnership with over 20 cultural, educational, media and religious institutions around the city, including local television station Detroit Public TV. It was through one of the community photo sharing events we organized.
“If we really want to understand how we got to where we are today, then you can go to a number of places… one of the places that we think has been overlooked is the family photo album.” – Don Perry
Don talks of the unifying effect of bringing a community together through family photographs and flipping the stereotypical perspective of the frontier city that carried so much rich history and culture. There were common themes of entrepreneurship and the automotive industry as well as interesting backstories that involved a famous local recording studio that carried the blueprint for the Motown Sound before Berry Gordy started and a young upcoming Gospel singer, Aretha Franklin.
Mark also recounts his experience sharing his father’s influential story supporting local African American businesses and churches that are still standing in Detroit today! Watch a piece of his interview on Family Pictures USA: