Dr. Nick Aaron Ford was born on August 4, 1904, in Ridgeway, S.C. to Nick Aaron and Carrie Ford. The family valued education and hard work, with Carrie teaching a young Dr. Ford to read and write before the age of five. Dr. Ford attended Winnsboro Colored School when he was ten.
After graduation from Benedict College in 1926, Dr. Ford began his career in teaching in Aiken, S.C. and served as a teacher and administrator at various schools and colleges across the South. He earned his Master’s in 1934 and Doctorate in 1945, both from the State University of Iowa. For 28 years, Dr. Ford was a professor at Morgan State University where he eventually became the Chair of the English Department.
As a prominent educator and scholar, Dr. Ford was an advocate in pushing for the inclusion of African American culture and literature to be taught throughout academia prior to 1968. His books, articles in various academic journals, and newspaper writings were based upon how important it was to know the literary accomplishments of Black writers throughout the United States and the need to recognize Black Studies in higher education.
Dr. Ford was one of the founders of the College Literature Association journal and a regular contributor to the Phylon along with many other academic journals. Dr. Ford served on many prominent national educational boards including being elected as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council of Teachers of English.
Ford died in Baltimore, Md. on July 17, 1982.
Presented through a partnership between the South Carolina Department of Education and South Carolina ETV.
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