Click for a larger image of Think Black: A Memoir

Think Black: A Memoir
by Clyde W. Ford

    Publication Date:
    List Price: $16.99
    Format: Paperback, 304 pages
    Classification: Nonfiction
    ISBN13: 9780062890573
    Imprint: Amistad
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Parent Company: News Corporation
    Borrow from Library

    Book Description:

    Finalist for a 2020 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award

    In this thought-provoking and heartbreaking memoir, an award-winning writer tells the story of his father, John Stanley Ford, the first black software engineer at IBM, revealing how racism insidiously affected his father’s view of himself and their relationship.

    In 1947, Thomas J. Watson set out to find the best and brightest minds for IBM. At City College he met young accounting student John Stanley Ford and hired him to become IBM’s first black software engineer. But not all of the company’s white employees refused to accept a black colleague and did everything in their power to humiliate, subvert, and undermine Ford.

    Yet Ford would not quit. Viewing the job as the opportunity of a lifetime, he comported himself with dignity and professionalism, and relied on his community and his "street smarts" to succeed. He did not know that his hiring was meant to distract from IBM’s dubious business practices, including its involvement in the Holocaust, eugenics, and apartheid.

    While Ford remained at IBM, it came at great emotional cost to himself and his family, especially his son Clyde. Overlooked for promotions he deserved, the embittered Ford began blaming his fate on his skin color and the notion that darker-skinned people like him were less intelligent and less capable—beliefs that painfully divided him and Clyde, who followed him to IBM two decades later.

    From his first day of work—with his wide-lapelled suit, bright red turtleneck, and huge afro—Clyde made clear he was different. Only IBM hadn’t changed. As he, too, experienced the same institutional racism, Clyde began to better understand the subtle yet daring ways his father had fought back.

    Also available in hardcover.



    book cover Think Black: A Memoir by Clyde W. FordMore books like Think Black: A Memoir may be found by selecting the categories below: