When Nathan Conyers acquired a Ford dealership in 1970, he was a unicorn of sorts — a Black auto dealer in a profession that was virtually all white.
At the time, Conyers was a partner in a successful Detroit law firm, a position that offered financial comfort and political connections. But Conyers' father, a former factory worker and union organizer, preached the benefits of business ownership.
His son got the message. In 1970, Conyers and his brother — U.S. Rep. John Conyers of Michigan — acquired a Ford dealership in Detroit, the first Black-owned Ford outlet east of Chicago.