Emeline King: Ford’s First Black Woman Car Designer Reflects On Her Amazing Legacy In Autobiography

by Gee NY

Emeline King, Ford’s first African American female car designer, is shining a spotlight on her groundbreaking career in an autobiography titled “What Do You Mean A Black Girl Can’t Design Cars? She Did It!”

The book delves into her journey, challenges, and accomplishments during her nearly 25-year career at Ford Motor Company.

The revelation of Emeline King’s historic role in Ford’s design legacy came to light during a 2021 incident at Dearborn’s Ford Garage Restaurant.

A group from the Mustang Owners Museum, attending Woodward Dream Cruise week, organized a dinner where Bud Magaldi, the design chief for the 1994 Mustang, was the guest speaker.

To everyone’s surprise, Emeline King herself attended, sparking interest and prompting a closer look at her remarkable career.

Emeline King, a Detroit resident and Wayne State University graduate, began her career at Ford in 1983, specializing in transportation design.

Despite her significant contributions to Ford’s design portfolio, her story remained relatively unknown. The autobiography sheds light on her experiences, challenges, and achievements, emphasizing her role in designing the interior of the 1994 Ford Mustang, among other notable projects.

Emeline King with her sister’s K-Code. Image credit: Ford Performance

Raised in Detroit, Emeline King’s father, Earnest O. King, Sr., who worked as a Fabrication Specialist in Ford’s Design Center, played a crucial role in inspiring her passion for transportation design.

From childhood trips to auto shows to exposure to the creative process behind the scenes at Ford, Emeline’s journey was guided by her father’s mentorship and her determination to break gender stereotypes in the field.

Emeline King’s autobiography not only highlights her design contributions to Ford but also serves as an inspiring narrative for aspiring designers, especially young girls.

The book aims to encourage the next generation to pursue their dreams, overcome challenges, and recognize the importance of mentorship.

For enthusiasts and those interested in Emeline King’s story, her autobiography is available for purchase on her website www.emelineking.com. Additionally, Emeline is open to book signings and club events, providing an opportunity for readers to connect with a true pioneer in the automotive design industry.

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