By Levern Allen
Member, African American History Club
Sam Ford began his career in the media as a disc jockey at the University of Kansas and a local radio station about 45 years ago. He transitioned into news journalism in 1974 when he was hired as a reporter/announcer at KSJN, a Minnesota Public Radio station and KMSP-TV, an ABC affiliate. Thus began an illustrious career in broadcasting which led to his designation as History Maker. (History Makers is an organization that collects and preserves oral histories of African Americans in order to show the breadth and depth of their accomplishments.)
Ford is a 1974 graduate of the University of Kansas. Later he studied at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where he wrote and produced his first of many African American History TV features. He was one of 44 founding members of the National Association of Black Journalists. This association has a membership of more than 3500 journalists around the world.
Ford has produced several television features on African American issues. In 1991 he received an Emmy for African American Connection. He travelled to Nigeria to explore his Yoruban ancestry and learned that the Petite males (his mother’s side) were just as unprincipled in Nigeria as they had been in Oklahoma. His documentary, Black Slaves, Red Masters recounts the inclusion of slaves on the‘Trail of Tears’ and other stories about his ancestors. It is this documentary that will be shown Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 2:30 in the Encore Theater. In 2003 he received a Broadcast Excellence Award from Columbia University. Ford is active in the Prime Movers Media mentorship program at Ballou High School in Washington, D. C where his work with aspiring journalism students earned him another Emmy for Field Trip to Ballou in 2006. Ford has been a reporter at WJLA-TV since 1987. Currently, he is the DC Bureau Chief in Washington, DC.
The African American History Club will present Black Slaves, Red Masters, Sunday April 8, 2018 at 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. Mr. Ford will be present for introductory remarks and discussion following the film.