The Chronicle sat down with Ford to talk about her latest book, community involvement, careers, and race in America.
Question-01 : What do you hope people will take away from your book?
Answer : I’m hoping more than anything else that it causes people to think first, then spark discussion. It doesn’t really matter if readers agree or disagree with my views or opinions, just that people think. We find a lot with social media that people speak without thinking. They get half the story and they spew their guts. I’m hoping people will take a moment, sit back, think and then reflect and speak out about the issues.
Question-02 : What were your experiences growing up on the South Side?
Answer : I grew up in Englewood, before Englewood became notorious, and I still don’t see it that way. I lived in several other neighborhoods on the South Side. It’s a family neighborhood that you would find in any other city—we just don’t get the ink. A lot of the daily papers kind of skip over the South Side, but it has been wonderful to my family and me. We love the South Side.
Question-03 : Why do you think there is a lack of prominent female voices on certain issues?
Answer : I think there is a lack of black female voices, to be more specific. A lot of times when issues comes up that people are seeking people to comment, they find Henry Louis Gates, Cornel West or Tavis Smiley but there is rarely a woman in the bunch. I don’t see my point of view being reflected, and I thought by writing my book that I would be a new voice.
Question-04 : How do you think this can change in the future?
Answer : I’m hoping more women will write-—and not just about their lives. I’m not saying that it’s not important, but I really want more black women to write about politics and how it affects us. I’m hoping black women will write about bigger issues than their life stories.
Question-05 : What advice would you give to people who want to get involved in social justice issues?
Answer : Start where you are and where you live. The Internet has allowed voices to be known—-you can craft a blog and start to write. You can reach out to community organizations within your neighborhood. Find the thing you are most passionate about. If you can’t find an organization—heck, start one!
Question-06 : How do you define success?
Answer : I think success has to do with whether you are living true to you and finding a way to make a contribution to where you are.
Question-07 : What was it like crossing over from being a journalist to an author?
Answer : As a journalist you have to remain objective-—a journalist is not a part of the story. Crossing over to being a blogger and book author allowed me to do the complete opposite, it allowed me to put myself the middle of a piece if I so desired.
Question-08 : Do you think the black community needs justice or healing?
Answer : Both, I don’t think you can have one without the other. They’re tied—hand in hand. From the world, especially within the United States, we need justice. As far as what we need with each other, we need healing and we need to help each other heal.