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The Story Of Ford’s First African-American Designer Who Sketched The Original 1966 Bronco

 

He’s been called the “Jackie Robinson” of car design. McKinley Thompson, Ford’s first African-American designer, was hired by the automobile manufacturing company at a time the civil rights movement was gaining momentum. He joined Ford Motor Company just after Rosa Parks took a stand on the bus in Montgomery, according to historians.

That period in American history was associated with social and political unrest, with Black people fighting against racism and segregation. None of the major automobile manufacturing companies including Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford were well-known for hiring Black talent into significant positions. And that is why Thompson’s story at Ford is astounding.

Becoming Ford’s first Black auto designer, he would be behind the first sketches of the original 1966 Bronco and go on to work on the Mustang, Ford trucks, and the T-Bird. But only a few knew about Thompson’s story until recently when Ford began the process of designing the all-new 2021 Ford Bronco.

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He’s been called the “Jackie Robinson” of car design. McKinley Thompson, Ford’s first African-American designer, was hired by the automobile manufacturing company at a time the civil rights movement was gaining momentum. He joined Ford Motor Company just after Rosa Parks took a stand on the bus in Montgomery, according to historians.

That period in American history was associated with social and political unrest, with Black people fighting against racism and segregation. None of the major automobile manufacturing companies including Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford were well-known for hiring Black talent into significant positions. And that is why Thompson’s story at Ford is astounding.

Becoming Ford’s first Black auto designer, he would be behind the first sketches of the original 1966 Bronco and go on to work on the Mustang, Ford trucks, and the T-Bird. But only a few knew about Thompson’s story until recently when Ford began the process of designing the all-new 2021 Ford Bronco.

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Written by PH

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