Tuesday, August 9, 2011

May's Features/Interviews: Up Close & Personal with KAIESHA FORD

*Disclaimer: This photo does not belong to i.am.aMAYzing. It is courtesy of Spring Hill College*

Kaiesha Ford is a young woman who has accomplished extraordinary goals.

Prior to receiving a college degree, Ford had already became a published author. That alone serves as an amazing accomplishment. Presently, 23-year-old Kaiesha Ford is a college graduate who has published not one but two books of poetry, entitled Issues We Face: From a Sista’s Point of View and The Truth Untold: From a Sista's Point of View.

Both accomplishments, along with a host of others, make Ford a great role-model for young girls, especially young African American girls.

I recently sat down in an interview with Ford to learn more about her as an Author/Poet, a young African American woman, a college graduate and a humanitarian for her community.


The Author/Poet …..

What does Poetry mean to you?
Poetry is a way to express myself freely. When I want to voice my opinion about situations or if I am feeling down, personally, I can pick up a pen to get everything out at the moment.

When did you first become interested in Poetry?
Honestly, I don’t know. The first poem I wrote was about Aaliyah, after her death. After that, it’s history.

At what point did you decide that you wanted to become a Published Author?
At first, I struggled with whether I wanted the public to read my work. As I said before, it was a way that I could express myself freely. So, I was hesitant at first because I didn’t want people criticizing how I felt.

What Authors/Poets have inspired you?
Of course, Maya Angelou and Phyllis Wheatley because she paved the way for us to follow. 

I was at your first book signing and I felt like it was an amazing ceremony. What feelings were you feeling during your first book signing?
I was shocked because I never thought in a million years that I would have my work professionally published with my name on it. It was an amazing experience because I shared it with my family and friends.

What do you think about critics that say things like, “Okay writing from an African American’s point view is cool, but why not have some diversity”?
Firstly, I can only write about what I know. I don’t know how it feels to be any other race. Secondly, Its goes along with saying…”don’t judge a book by the cover.” Throughout my poems, I have a few different messages. They range from confronting the “racists” to letting people know if we all experience the same issues on a day-to-day basis; it doesn’t have to deal with skin color.
So my books are not just targeted towards African-Americans, they’re written for everyone. 

The Young African American Woman…..

Your books expose some of your personal life situations and life changing events, as well as some of the issues that African Americans in general go through. What is one MAJOR obstacle that you, as a “Sista”, have encountered, yet worked through?

If I had to pick one, it will be being called out of my name. The first time it happened I was very confused and angry with myself because I thought it was something that I did. My parents and grandparents suffered from racist remarks and unfortunate experiences, but I thought it was a thing of the past.

My last encounter happened when I was out with two of my friends, one of which was white. There was a white man who made a comment, and my friend asked me why I didn’t say anything because as he was talking I turned my head and walked to my car. So, my response: anybody who discriminates based on skin color is ignorant. If he’s talking to my friend, saying that it’s the year of 2008 and you need to read the paper and get with the times. He sounds ignorant! So, I’m not going to have a debate with him to justify my skin color because I would look just as ignorant as he was. So he had the first word and certainly had the last because I wasn’t listening.

The College Graduate….

As a graduate of Spring Hill College, how would you sum all 4-years of college up?

It was an amazing experience. I think I started to live for myself without feeling like I was being judged by family.

What field of study did you earn your Bachelors Degree in?
Business Administration with a concentration in Computer Information Systems.

As an undergraduate you became a member of the sorority Delta Gamma. How has your membership in Delta Gamma changed your life?
Becoming a member of Delta Gamma was one of the best decisions in my life. They trusted me to be a leader, and they are a great support system. Those ladies are some of my best friends. The opportunities within the sorority allow me to meet and connect with some amazing men and women, and I will be forever thankful.

You also started “Stomp The Hill”, which has become a Spring Hill tradition. Can you explain exactly what “Stomp The Hill” is about and how it makes you, the founder, feel to know that it has been so successful?
Spring Hill is a predominately white college. My main motivation when starting that event was to bring a part of me (African-American roots) to the campus.
I wanted to bring an African-American tradition on campus in order to

· Educate
·Earn money for a good cause

Do you have any plans of getting other degrees?
I am currently working toward obtaining my Master’s degree in Business Admin/IT Management. 

What advice do you have for current college students or those interested in it?
Go for it! Don’t let anyone or anything stop you!

The Humanitarian ….

What is one major issue within the African American community that you have observed and wish to address? 
I wish we could support one another all the time and not when it’s convenient.

The Conclusion…..

Are you planning any other projects for the near future?
I will always continue to write. Whether I will decide to publish another book, I can’t say. I will continue to pray on it.

How can you be reached for those that may wish to contact you?
Email me anytime at kdford10@gmail.com. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview. In closing I would like to say Congratulations on all of your goals that you have accomplished, especially your books:

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