Berry Gordy: Triumph and Success



Decatur High School held a Black History month assembly in the PAC on February 23 and February 26, 2021. The Assemblies, also known as Motown, is a story about “triumph, aspiration and influence” as stated by producer Kunle Oguneye. The story is about a young poor black man in the 1930’s and 40’s named Berry Gordy who had a dream to create a platform for black people everywhere. This show is different from other assemblies, because it details the struggles that he went through during his life and doesn’t solely focus on all the good things in his life. 


Berry Gordy III was born on November 28th, 1929 in , Detroit, Michigan, one of the poorest cities in the U.S. Berry’s half brother James is actually President Jimmy Carter’s Grandfather. Berry dropped out of high school and became a boxer until he was drafted into the Korean War. He did this because he was poor, and wanted a place to live, as well as to get money.Once he came back he opened a black music store which failed. However, he used this as motivation for him to succeed. 


Using this failure as motivation, he learned about music and how to write songs which he was amazing at. Because of that he got close to producers and learned how to produce music. He started signing famous musicians, including Marvin Gaye and Jimmy Rufin. Later artists signed by Gordy included Stevie Wonder and the Jackson 5. With his producing talent, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame as well as winning the National medal of Arts. 


This story of Berry Gordy is a story that everyone needs to hear. As Mrs. Oguneye said this is a story about “triumph, aspiration and influence” which is something lots of people need to hear about and learn from. Another thing Mrs. Oguneye is trying to teach the audience is that no matter where you come from, anyone can be anything.