BAKER COLLEGE Auto Diesel Institute student Alec Holvey can be seen standing next to his booth during the Baker College Black History Month Expo on Wednesday, Feb. 14. Holvey presented a history of African Americans in the Automotive Industry, which included notable historic figures such as Charles Richard Patterson, and present-day automotive industry titans such as Linda Cash, Michael Burton and Ed Welburn.
Patterson was originally born into slavery, in 1833, but he went on to be the first black man to own an automotive company when he bought out J.P. Lowe, his partner in a carriage-building company, and renamed the company the C.R. Patterson & Sons Company in 1893. Contemporary automotive executives Cash, the Vice President of the Quality and New Model Launch division of Ford Motor Company; Burton, the head of interior design for the Buick Enclave; and Welburn, who recently retired from General Motors as the Vice President of Global Design, show how far the automobile industry has come since the days of Charles Patterson.
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)