This Week on American Black Journal:

The LEE Group’s 9th annual Small Business Workshop tackles challenges amidst inflation, looming recession

As small businesses across the nation grapple with the lingering effects of the pandemic, The LEE Group is gearing up to host its highly anticipated ninth annual Small Business Workshop on May 24. Against the backdrop of rising inflation and the looming possibility of an economic recession, the workshop aims to address the unique challenges that small businesses have encountered on their journey to post-pandemic recovery.  

This year’s workshop will focus on navigating the uncertain economic challenges currently facing small businesses. It will provide valuable insights, resources and strategies to help small business owners navigate the turbulent economic landscape.  

The LEE Group President and CEO Mark S. Lee and David Girodat, Regional President-Eastern Michigan at Fifth Third Bank, the workshop’s presenting sponsor, joined “American Black Journal” host Stephen Henderson to talk about the issues many small businesses are facing, such as getting customers back after the pandemic, a tight labor market, and accessing the capital needed to expand. 

Detroit Public Theatre ends 8th season with Passing Strange, a rock musical with a powerful message

Detroit Public Theatre is closing out its first season in its new theater space with “Passing Strange,” the 2008 Tony Award-winning rock musical with a powerful message.   

Passing Strange tells the story of a young Black musician on a coming-of-age journey to find himself, his artistic voice, and his sense of what it means to be Black in both the world of art and the world at large. His journey takes him from LA to Amsterdam to Berlin, as he explores different styles of music and schools of philosophy and spirituality, trying to find what he calls “The Real.”   

The musical has been on Detroit Public Theatre’s radar since it began eight seasons ago, according to Detroit Public Theatre Producing Artistic Director Courtney Burkett. The original production was written by Stew and Heidi Rodewald. John Sloan III directed the Detroit Public Theatre production.  

One Detroit editor Chris Jordan attended the theatre’s performance of “Passing Strange” and spoke with Sloan III, actress Lulu Fall, and Burkett after about the show’s legacy, what makes it unique among rock musicals, how art and media can be used as vehicles for cultural conversations, and the creative process behind bringing the Broadway production to the local stage. 

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Watch American Black Journal on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. on Detroit Public TV, WTVS-Channel 56.