As we celebrate Black History Month, Auto Trends with Jeffcars.com, a multicultural syndicated automotive program, shines the high beams on Emeline King, Ford Motor Company’s first Black female car designer. King, who was hired in 1983, was one of the first Black female car designers in the auto industry. Marietta Kearney Ellis, who was hired one-year earlier by General Motors, was the first in the industry.
Currently, there are approximately 30 Black car designers globally. Black car designers barely make up a fraction of this exclusive club of creative innovators. In fact, one has a better chance of being drafted at .03%, according to sports sources into the NBA, than becoming an automotive car designer.
King stamped an undisputed legacy in interior design at Ford Motor Company, after earning a degree in transportation design. Her journey created the blueprint for women of color to excel in the male dominated field. "I made a promise at eleven I would become a transportation design manager. I was going to work at Ford and design cars with my father," says King. "I was the last player on the bench." One of King's most valued career accomplishments included designing the interior of the award-winning 1994 Ford Mustang, which led to a rockstar interview on ABC’s Good Morning America, as well as being recognized in multiple Black publications.
Over the next two weeks, King will share her pioneering journey as she reflects on the challenges faced on her way to becoming a trailblazer in the industry. The conversation will paint a picture of the historical stereotypes impacting women in the design field, along with the Black female perspective on persevering through societal limitations.
King's revolutionary road to breaking barriers in the field of automotive design is depicted in her book, What Do You Mean A Black Girl Can't Design Cars? Strap yourself in and come along for the ride as we go one-on-one with the visionary.
To Tune In
Part One of the conversation on SiriusXM and our radio
Part One of the conversation on SiriusXM and our radio affiliates airs:
Saturday, February 4 - Thursday, February 9
Part Two of the conversation on SiriusXM and our radio
Part Two of the conversation on SiriusXM and our radio affiliates airs:
Saturday, February 11 – Thursday, February 16
To check the FM radio air dates, times and to tune in online, click here.
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