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Think Black: A Memoir of Sacrifice, Success, and Self-Loathing in Corporate America

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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 acco 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.


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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 acco 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.

30 review for Think Black: A Memoir of Sacrifice, Success, and Self-Loathing in Corporate America

  1. 5 out of 5

    Viral

    Thanks to HarperCollins for the ARC at BEA 2019! I really liked this memoir from Clyde Ford, telling the story of his upbringing in NYC while his dad became the first black systems engineer at IBM, and their constant clashes with their different perspectives about work, politics, and social issues. Ford came of age amidst the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement, radicalized by the injustice that surrounded him and willing to lean into his Blackness, while his dad took a more conservative approa Thanks to HarperCollins for the ARC at BEA 2019! I really liked this memoir from Clyde Ford, telling the story of his upbringing in NYC while his dad became the first black systems engineer at IBM, and their constant clashes with their different perspectives about work, politics, and social issues. Ford came of age amidst the Civil Rights and Black Power Movement, radicalized by the injustice that surrounded him and willing to lean into his Blackness, while his dad took a more conservative approach that focused on keeping his head down and working hard and education as a pathway to success. Ford takes time to discuss the deep injustices IBM has been responsible for, from its complicity in the Holocaust, its role in eugenics movement, and its support for the apartheid government of South Africa. It's a moving and powerful story about family, race, and survival. Highly recommend.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ebb

    I found this book to be a very interesting look at the experience of a father and son who were hired during different time periods at IBM. Ford gives us a lot of information regarding his father and how he felt about his job, however I wish that we had gotten more insight into what both men did from day to day at IBM. We got little snippets of their work and certain examples of how their race played into the way in which their coworkers treated them but I never felt like I got a full account of I found this book to be a very interesting look at the experience of a father and son who were hired during different time periods at IBM. Ford gives us a lot of information regarding his father and how he felt about his job, however I wish that we had gotten more insight into what both men did from day to day at IBM. We got little snippets of their work and certain examples of how their race played into the way in which their coworkers treated them but I never felt like I got a full account of the work culture there. However, this book shines when the author discusses the lessons that his father passed onto him and the ways in which he pushed his son, knowing that he could achieve success and push through the racial barriers that stood in his way. The stories about his father bringing home his work and teaching his children these mathematical and technology-based lessons were a highlight in the book as well. The second half of the book focuses on IBM's controversial practices throughout the 20th century. It was an interesting look at a company that has impacted world events in a way that I did not know about. All in all, the book is well-rounded and gives us an interesting perspective on the relationship between an African American family and one of the biggest technology companies in history. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    freckledbibliophile

    Think Black by Clyde W. Ford was a compelling story about Ford, his father, and his family background. Some of the histories I took away from this book, including IBM’s federation with the Nazis and its involvement with other injustices, were affecting. I liked the contrast between Ford and his father when it came to their approach to dealing with the prejudices surrounding them both. It is admirable how Ford’s father made it his objective to teach his children about two main components that wou Think Black by Clyde W. Ford was a compelling story about Ford, his father, and his family background. Some of the histories I took away from this book, including IBM’s federation with the Nazis and its involvement with other injustices, were affecting. I liked the contrast between Ford and his father when it came to their approach to dealing with the prejudices surrounding them both. It is admirable how Ford’s father made it his objective to teach his children about two main components that would change the world. I did want to hear more of the narrator's father's story as it related to his day-to-day life as the first black engineer at IBM. Nevertheless, it didn’t take away from the son's well-written account of his “ladies man” of a dad or his purpose of writing the book. If you’re interested in black history or the history of IBM, this book would be an excellent read for you. ARC e-book copy

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Hicks

    One of the reasons I enjoy reading memoirs is because you learn so much about a person and their journey, their trials and tribulations, what made them who they are and the like. I’ve read just about every type of memoir from all walks of life and I was so excited when this little jewel entered my inbox from BookBub. This is a story I knew nothing about and I was quite intrigued to find out more. Before I delve into the jaw-dropping information I gleamed from Clyde Ford’s book, let me just say th One of the reasons I enjoy reading memoirs is because you learn so much about a person and their journey, their trials and tribulations, what made them who they are and the like. I’ve read just about every type of memoir from all walks of life and I was so excited when this little jewel entered my inbox from BookBub. This is a story I knew nothing about and I was quite intrigued to find out more. Before I delve into the jaw-dropping information I gleamed from Clyde Ford’s book, let me just say that I was absolutely in love with the IBM Selectric typewriters back in the day. I burned out quite a few in my time. Those electric typewriters were all the rave and it was so fun reading about the history of how those little machines came to be. But what was more interesting was finding out about the first black software engineer to ever work for the iconic IBM, John Stanley Ford. And you already know that Mr. Ford being the first also met with some rather challenging times while working for the pioneering giant. As much as I’d love for racism to up and disappear, unfortunately for John Stanley Ford, it was literally just beginning with all the shenanigans his colleagues pulled on him while employed at IBM. Because of his skin color, he had to work harder and better than his white counterparts and Mr. Ford was here for it. From giving him the smallest work space, to try and hook him up with white women in seedy hotels and pretend like he was supposed to be going to meet up with other IBM execs, were just a couple things that he had to endure. But the one thing IBM’s tricks could not do was take away his intelligence. John Stanley Ford was a genius when it came to programming computers and you can also give him thanks for the very cell phones and computer devices you use today, for it not for his wisdom of programming, we wouldn’t have the technology we take for granted today. Remember, IBM was before Apple and Microsoft. IBM was the leader in technology. Imagine watching your father as a young child writing computer programming and then teaching it to you so that you, too, could one day become a software engineer and work for the very company that threw all types of shade at you at every turn. Yes, Clyde Ford, the author of this book, became an engineer for IBM as his father once had. Trust and believe learning code and how to program it isn’t an easy feat. For young Clyde, how he managed to understand binary mathematics and different type of code writing, was mind boggling in and of itself. I was struggling to understand it as he demonstrated the different types of programming his father and he worked with. Those damn punch cards were enough to give me headaches from a reader’s standpoint, so I can’t begin to imagine how Clyde ever learned it. I tried using some of his examples to see if I could decipher the code and every time I thought I was right, it turns out there was one variable that ended up being different, but at least I tried to understand the concept behind the technology. What really blew me away was learning of IBMs involvement in the Holocaust. Yes, you read that right! The Holocaust. I gobbled up those chapters quickly because I couldn’t believe what I was reading. To know that IBM sent their computers to Germany and helped train Hitler’s staff to learn how to use them so that they could “track” the Jewish people was earth-shattering to me. I mean, I’ve loved IBM products for most of my life and to learn about this made me feel some type of way. In fact, just typing this out in my review makes my skin crawl. I’ve read many books and watched movies on the Holocaust and I always wondered how Hitler came up with those horrible ‘numbers’ that he’d brand on Jewish people. Well, wonder no more because he used IBM’s software and computers to help him do it. OMG, I literally fell off my chair as I read Clyde’s words. I so do not want to believe this is true, but I believe every word Clyde stated. And of course, he gives plenty of receipts. There are several references throughout the Kindle version wherein all you had to do was hit the highlighted number and it would take you to websites and documents that Clyde offers the reader for you to do your own research in which I most certainly availed myself. All I can say is, WOW!!!! For me, what I found most interesting is how many times Clyde went to IBM to ask for his employee records and his father’s records for his book and IBM refused to answer him. After learning of their involvement in not only the Holocaust, but in other sinister activities regarding race relations, I soon understood why they declined to speak with him. I can only imagine the backlash he’s received for having written a book this detailed. When I tell you it felt as though Clyde left nothing out, you better believe it! I was just mind-blown by this entire book. He goes into detail about his parents’ marriage and infidelities. He talks about his personal struggles with his father having to live up to shoes he couldn’t possibly fill. This memoir was very educational to say the least. Some other poignant sections I found intellectually stimulating was his detail on how technology impacted the elections and the seriousness of technology and being a programmer and what that means for humans. Artificial Intelligence is very real and extremely dangerous when put into the wrong hands and when he talked about Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and how that impacted the country, a whole multitude of things truly opened up in my mind’s eye. Needless to say, I fell in love with this book. This, by far, was the best memoir I’ve read for 2020. I appreciated Clyde’s words and his hard work in researching material to bring forth truth and dignity to the reader. To read original post, please stop by https://www.thesexynerdrevue.com/2020...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Temika

    I felt a personal connection to this book as I am also an engineer and my first job was at IBM. This is the story of the first black engineer, John Stanley Ford, who was hired by Watson Sr. himself. This memoir was written by and through the eyes of his son who also ended up working for IBM. This book touched on A LOT of things: misconception of diversity in the workplace, professional racism, eugenics, the "first" blacks, IBM and the Holocaust, IBM and Apartheid, and a history of technology tha I felt a personal connection to this book as I am also an engineer and my first job was at IBM. This is the story of the first black engineer, John Stanley Ford, who was hired by Watson Sr. himself. This memoir was written by and through the eyes of his son who also ended up working for IBM. This book touched on A LOT of things: misconception of diversity in the workplace, professional racism, eugenics, the "first" blacks, IBM and the Holocaust, IBM and Apartheid, and a history of technology that was supposedly for the better. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I recommend this book to anyone who is working in the tech industry or retired from it. A lot of us go through IBM at one point of another. Or we work at corporations who have the same objectives and goals. Reading this affirmed my feelings of suspicion, naivety, and frustration while being black and employed.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Latoya

    I could not read this book as quickly as I'd hoped. I kept stopping not only to underline, tab, and make notes, but to catch my breath. The way in which Dr. Ford weaves together America's history with race, his own familial history, and that of IBM's, it all required me to step back a few times to take in all the information. This is a great read, and Dr. Ford is a compelling storyteller. I feel as if this book hasn't received the marketing and attention it deserves. I could not read this book as quickly as I'd hoped. I kept stopping not only to underline, tab, and make notes, but to catch my breath. The way in which Dr. Ford weaves together America's history with race, his own familial history, and that of IBM's, it all required me to step back a few times to take in all the information. This is a great read, and Dr. Ford is a compelling storyteller. I feel as if this book hasn't received the marketing and attention it deserves.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    Well, I'm going to be THAT person who thinks this would have been better as an article or a podcast interview than an entire book. The general idea of how IBM treated the author and his father similarly but how each of them handled it differently was interesting but I often felt the book was struggling to stretch out to full book length without enough material (some of this certainly is because IBM refused to release employment records to the author) to really fill that space. When we finally got Well, I'm going to be THAT person who thinks this would have been better as an article or a podcast interview than an entire book. The general idea of how IBM treated the author and his father similarly but how each of them handled it differently was interesting but I often felt the book was struggling to stretch out to full book length without enough material (some of this certainly is because IBM refused to release employment records to the author) to really fill that space. When we finally got to the chapters about IBM's business with the Third Reich and Apartheid South Africa that was compelling and made me want to read more, but perhaps I'll just read the books the author used as sources here. YMMV but I was hoping I could recommend this to my work book club to talk about shallow diversity initiatives and inequality in tech, but it didn't seem to have enough to talk about for that.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Abiola

    Each chapter starts with a memory of the author's father, the first black engineer at IBM, but what follows is so much more. Ford goes into his genealogy, brief history of computing, and social movements that led to his father working at IBM and eventually himself. I really loved so many things about this memoir, coming from someone that doesn't usually read them. While only a short section this story is also a reminder to be authentically yourself in the face of being "the first" regardless of Each chapter starts with a memory of the author's father, the first black engineer at IBM, but what follows is so much more. Ford goes into his genealogy, brief history of computing, and social movements that led to his father working at IBM and eventually himself. I really loved so many things about this memoir, coming from someone that doesn't usually read them. While only a short section this story is also a reminder to be authentically yourself in the face of being "the first" regardless of that that is. Informative, entertaining, and motivational so glad to have started the year reading this.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Alfaro

    Very interesting read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Aqura (engineersreadtoo)

    lyde Ford writes a memoir for his father, John Stanley Ford, the first Black software engineer at IBM, interweaving their experiences at IBM while also unveiling the role of technology itself as a tool to facilitate racial oppression worldwide. Clyde really just scratches the surface on the day to day life at IBM but from what is revealed, I can tell that it not much has changed. Large engineering corporations are still overwhelmingly white, male dominated. Blatant racism may have disappeared som lyde Ford writes a memoir for his father, John Stanley Ford, the first Black software engineer at IBM, interweaving their experiences at IBM while also unveiling the role of technology itself as a tool to facilitate racial oppression worldwide. Clyde really just scratches the surface on the day to day life at IBM but from what is revealed, I can tell that it not much has changed. Large engineering corporations are still overwhelmingly white, male dominated. Blatant racism may have disappeared somewhat but the covert racism still exists, and on so many levels. I really appreciated how Clyde used the racist history of technology as a guide through his and his fathers experiences at IBM in the second half of the book. It is so important to understand the underlying roles technology plays in advancing racist policies and beliefs that often goes unnoticed

  11. 5 out of 5

    Allan Olley

    This is an interesting memoir of the author's interactions with IBM but even more a remembrance of his father's time with IBM. It also has meditations on larger social issues both general ones of the experience of blacks in American society and specifically the way the IBM corporation handled those issues and played a roll in various historical incidents and injustices. While neither brilliant or definitive in either its technological or social insights the book does touch on and make engaging v This is an interesting memoir of the author's interactions with IBM but even more a remembrance of his father's time with IBM. It also has meditations on larger social issues both general ones of the experience of blacks in American society and specifically the way the IBM corporation handled those issues and played a roll in various historical incidents and injustices. While neither brilliant or definitive in either its technological or social insights the book does touch on and make engaging various issues and relate this to an interesting set of personal stories. The main narrative proceeds on a double track considering on the one hand Clyde's father John Stanley Ford's career at IBM as the first black service engineer beginning with his recruitment by Thomas J. Watson Sr. himself. The narrative then jumps forward to Clyde Ford's first days working at IBM in the 1960s. The narrative then returns to the elder Ford and the narrative jumps back and forth. We go from Clyde as a boy hiding from a piano recital to Clyde as a twenty something at IBM debugging code. The narrative is broken up with considerations of broader issues. Some of these are technical to do with the computer as when Ford discusses the role of Eastern philosophy in Leibniz's formulation of binary arithmetic. More often it is social as when considering how employment prospects for blacks at IBM reflected legal and social trends in American society and the different ways the two Fords reacted to their situation. The book also discusses the role of IBM and its subsidiary and allied firms in the evils of the holocaust and South African apartheid. These digressions often reflect a few sources and discussions, but the contrast with the particularity of the Fords experiences at IBM give them a salience and immediacy which is engaging. The book's greatest strength is its engagement with the character of the two principles the father a somewhat staid but still sly, smart and talented individual with unrequited musical ambitions and the son a more radical contrarian steeped in more revolutionary thought and action who is willing to follow his dreams. The technical side of the computer comes up at various times, but often not in much details and the detail that does come up is often a bit different from the usual litany one might expect in a book about IBM. The computing machine Ford choses to focus on the most is the humble IBM 407 accounting machine, which many would not consider a computer, however Ford makes the case for it as the illustrative computer in his narrative for various reasons. The technical discussions can be a bit brief and elliptical, I am not sure how much sense they make to people who do not already have an idea of what Ford is talking about. I had no problems with the ebook, the text was legible and the footnote/endnote feature worked well.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    3.5 stars. An enjoyable and informative book with an interesting perspective on a whole range of issues relating to the author and his father's experiences as Black men working for a giant technology corporation in the mid 20th century. I thought the author did a great job at contextualising his family experiences and linking to the wider civil rights movement and global events. It would have been great to go deeper into some of that context - I felt like that there was scope to explore even mor 3.5 stars. An enjoyable and informative book with an interesting perspective on a whole range of issues relating to the author and his father's experiences as Black men working for a giant technology corporation in the mid 20th century. I thought the author did a great job at contextualising his family experiences and linking to the wider civil rights movement and global events. It would have been great to go deeper into some of that context - I felt like that there was scope to explore even more. The author explains up-front that many of the conversations and details in the book were based on suppositions and general recollections of family members, so chose to describe a lot of stuff in hypothetical terms. While it was good to be candid about that, the choice meant that sometimes the language got a bit clunky about who would have said what, and I think it would have been fine to take a more concrete approach, having already explained that everything isn't verbatim. Overall, this was a really unique read and I would recommend to anyone with a specific interest in the history of technology and its social impact, and how two-faced corporations are when it comes to claiming to promote equality and diversity while their business practices clearly show the opposite.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chris Bailey

    I picked this up on a whim from the new biographies shelf at the library. I was fascinated by the computer history details (some components of which I am intimately familiar with from my almost 50 years of computer experience). The IBM mystique was a huge part of my experience and details about the company were also interesting (for example I never knew about the holocaust and apartheid connections). And the details of the lives of two black men were eye opening for me. I do not argue my white p I picked this up on a whim from the new biographies shelf at the library. I was fascinated by the computer history details (some components of which I am intimately familiar with from my almost 50 years of computer experience). The IBM mystique was a huge part of my experience and details about the company were also interesting (for example I never knew about the holocaust and apartheid connections). And the details of the lives of two black men were eye opening for me. I do not argue my white privilege and at the ripe old age of 65 I am starting to finally feel the need to learn more. I thank the author for that. I was going to take away a star for the rather disjointed organization of the book. Drove me a bit nuts at the beginning but eventually I felt it worked. Oh and I read the authors full bio which is a story in itself.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dru

    A wonderfully written book by a black man who explores his relationship with his father, their careers at IBM, systematic and institutional racism within IBM and in USA and more. Ford shared incredibly insightful information about the workplace, how it differed for him and his father who were in different generations of how USA viewed people of color. The sheer amount of examples of racism, whether in 1:1 or on a larger global scale was astounding. Scary, really. Highly recommend this for anybod A wonderfully written book by a black man who explores his relationship with his father, their careers at IBM, systematic and institutional racism within IBM and in USA and more. Ford shared incredibly insightful information about the workplace, how it differed for him and his father who were in different generations of how USA viewed people of color. The sheer amount of examples of racism, whether in 1:1 or on a larger global scale was astounding. Scary, really. Highly recommend this for anybody wanting to learn more about what it was like being a black man working in a field dominated by white men, more about IBM that contributed to horrendous crimes against humanity all over the world (this is NOT an exaggeration) and exploration of a father/son relationship.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Callahan

    Technology and racism The book was reasonably interesting when the author wrote two parallels of the evolution of technology and how racism stuck to it but more insidious. I did learn some information that I was unaware until now. Thanks to him and I know about it now. The history is a trove of treasure, but it might not what you want it to be...aside from that, I was bothered by a small portion by the author when he added personal lives and I wasn’t sure if it was making sense...maybe just me.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Avrora Moussorlieva

    Excelent read! I picked it because I was interested in a memoir about one's father and I got so much more! This is a glimpse in the life of three generations of African-American struggle to join the middle class and achieve the American Dream with sacrifices, pitfalls, success and disilusionment. In addition this is a very well researched view of the racist past of the IBM corporation. I reccomend it highly! Excelent read! I picked it because I was interested in a memoir about one's father and I got so much more! This is a glimpse in the life of three generations of African-American struggle to join the middle class and achieve the American Dream with sacrifices, pitfalls, success and disilusionment. In addition this is a very well researched view of the racist past of the IBM corporation. I reccomend it highly!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    Interesting to me because of the black experience, both Clyde Ford & his father's; computing history; learning about IBMs collaboration with the Nazis and later Apartheid South Africa and a thought counter argument that technology is value free and makes everyone's life better -- no so much given how search algorithms work in practices. Interesting to me because of the black experience, both Clyde Ford & his father's; computing history; learning about IBMs collaboration with the Nazis and later Apartheid South Africa and a thought counter argument that technology is value free and makes everyone's life better -- no so much given how search algorithms work in practices.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Super interesting about the dark history of IBM and the lack of diversity in tech. The author wrote an op-ed in the LA Times talking about IBM's role in the Holocaust and the Apartheid, and what he and his father did at IBM to try to right the path. Super interesting about the dark history of IBM and the lack of diversity in tech. The author wrote an op-ed in the LA Times talking about IBM's role in the Holocaust and the Apartheid, and what he and his father did at IBM to try to right the path.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Annarella

    This book is full of food for thought and tells an interesting and engaging story. I loved the story that made me reflect and the style of writing. Highly recommended! Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marna Tisdel

    Ford's father was the first black systems analyst hired by IBM just after WWII. He faced hostility and sabotage from some of his coworkers. Ford went to work there 20 years later and faced some of the same problems. This book is part memoir, part IBM expose. Ford's father was the first black systems analyst hired by IBM just after WWII. He faced hostility and sabotage from some of his coworkers. Ford went to work there 20 years later and faced some of the same problems. This book is part memoir, part IBM expose.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dhartridge

    Well written enough, but something was missing for me to like it better. I skimmed a lot of the techie parts. Interesting that his father felt it necessary to help black candidates for hiring at IBM by bribing co workers for the interview questions in advance.

  22. 4 out of 5

    June

    I learned about IBM’s very checkered past and when the book focused on this I was fascinated. Unfortunately I found much of the book choppy and personally was not that interested in the geek facts about IBM.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    I learned a ton from this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carl

    It was too laborious to read. Just couldn't hold my interest. It was too laborious to read. Just couldn't hold my interest.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carla Jean

    https://bookpage.com/reviews/24427-cl... https://bookpage.com/reviews/24427-cl...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Diane Madlon-Kay

    1 star

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tami

    Really loved the weaving of personal narratives of both him and his father with history. A few parts got a little too technical for me, but overall I really enjoyed this memoir.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

    An interesting memoir, biography, autobiography, and a primer on technology. Very thought provoking book! Highly recommend.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Never Without a Book

    John Stanley Ford became the first black software engineer at IBM in 1947, personally selected by the president and founder, Thomas J. Watson Sr., Ford’s new position didn’t sit well with many of his White coworkers. Fast forward two decades later, Clyde W. Ford also becomes an employee of IBM and interweaving his and his father’s experience we get an engrossing glimpse of the Tech world in this memoir Think Black. This memoir really spoke to me. I am a Black woman that works in the tech industr John Stanley Ford became the first black software engineer at IBM in 1947, personally selected by the president and founder, Thomas J. Watson Sr., Ford’s new position didn’t sit well with many of his White coworkers. Fast forward two decades later, Clyde W. Ford also becomes an employee of IBM and interweaving his and his father’s experience we get an engrossing glimpse of the Tech world in this memoir Think Black. This memoir really spoke to me. I am a Black woman that works in the tech industry and I’ve been looked over countless times for promotions. Much of what’s spoken in this book I’ve seen and experience firsthand. Crazy, in this day and age not much has changed. This memoir is everything to me, thought-provoking and inspiring, this is a must read. Thank you, HarperCollins/Amisatd for gifting me this copy in exchange for an honest review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    April

    I got this book as an arc at a library conference. It was so insightful as to the history of race and technology, especially as told through the experiences of the author and his father, who was the first Black software engineer hired at IBM back in the 1940s. I love how the author unapologetically traces IBM’s racist past, from its degradation of Black employees to its close involvement with the Nazi regime leading up to and during WWII, to its business ties to apartheid in South Africa. I also I got this book as an arc at a library conference. It was so insightful as to the history of race and technology, especially as told through the experiences of the author and his father, who was the first Black software engineer hired at IBM back in the 1940s. I love how the author unapologetically traces IBM’s racist past, from its degradation of Black employees to its close involvement with the Nazi regime leading up to and during WWII, to its business ties to apartheid in South Africa. I also appreciate how this memoir is about more than IBM, even as much of the narrative centers on the author’s and his father’s experiences at IBM. On the whole, though, the book jumps around a bit and has a really disjointed feel as though it struggles to connect the individual stories to a broader commentary on race and technology. Still a good read, if only for the hidden history it uncovers.

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