Bridgeport entrepreneur looks back on lessons of 9/11, reflects on the meaning of Black Business Month
A local entrepreneur looked back on the lessons of 9/11 during Black Business Month.
A short time before the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City, Bridgeport business owner Paul Brown - who opened the downtown night club "In the City" earlier this year - says he had just arrived at the Cortlandt Street Subway station on the Number 1 Line located directly beneath the Twin Towers.
"I was running away from the site of what was going on,” he recalled.
Having just arrived in the U.S from Jamaica one year earlier in search of a better life, this was not the America that Brown had expected to find himself in.
"That never left me,” he said.
Brown says the grim, unforgettable experience of 9/11 put him on a forward-looking path - one that would culminate two decades later with his dream of becoming a successful business owner.
He says his nightclub In the City is very urban, very glitzy, very New York. He says the whole idea is to bring New York City to Bridgeport.
"So, to be a business owner, it's a humbling feeling. It's a feeling that was inspired by my mom," he says of his mother, Vivienne Brown, who died 20 years ago this week in 2003.
"Every move and every step that I make, it was inspired by my mom,” he said.
During Black Business Month 2023, the proud husband and father says he thinks about the importance of family and providing for them.
"Black Business Month means we now get a chance to highlight what we are as entrepreneurs," Brown says.
He says he is deeply rooted in the bedrock values he learned at home in Jamaica and at home in America through lessons tempered by painful experience - all of it a living tribute to the mother who never doubted Brown’s ability to succeed.
He says Black Business Month is a great time to support all small business owners since Black-owned businesses help to support the economy at large.