Race and Technology

A blog about the intersection of race and technology.

Author Debuts New Technology for Latest Book

When Amistad/HarperCollins publishes Clyde W. Ford's latest book, THINK BLACK, on September 17, 2019, Ford will roll out new software for readers at the book's companion website. THINK BLACK is a memoir about the Ford's father, John Stanley Ford, a hidden figure in computers and the first Black software engineer in America, hired by IBM in 1946. GeoWise is software for geo-enriching books developed by the author, which allows readers to "fly-in" to places from the book through Google Earth. Once there, readers can view images, see related video, or even listen to the author read selections from the book.

Ford's father was profoundly affected by the 1963 March on Washington. From the book's online place name index, click on "March on Washington." You'll "fly-in" to the Lincoln Memorial and the grassy mall leading to the Washington Monument. Click the video link, and watch Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver his historic "I Have A Dream" speech from the steps of the memorial, courtesy of Learn Out Loud.

At a point in his career, Ford's father worked for IBM's Cambridge Scientific Center (CSC) on secretive technology that would ultimately evolve into the internet. CSC, at Tech Square in Cambridge, Mass. had close ties to MIT, DARPA and the CIA. Ford speculates that his father probably worked for the spy agency. Click on "IBM Cambridge, Tech Square" and zoom-in to that location. From there, view photographs of the early computers Ford's father worked on. Or, listen to Ford read from his book about his father's work at CSC, and about the CIA's bungled attempt to recruit the author, after he followed his father into IBM.

"Readers want an immersive experience," said Ford. "And GeoWise gives them that. It's a unique way of engaging with a book as you read."

GeoWise technology for readers is also a great fit for this book about technology and race.To see GeoWise in action go to www.thinkblackthebook.com and click on the GeoWise logo on the right side of the screen.

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Saturday, 13 July 2024