Ashley C. Ford is a writer, editor, and speaker who has written and guest-edited for publications like The Guardian, ELLE, BuzzFeed, Slate, and many more. But only a few years ago, she had a very different story. After getting fired from all her part-time jobs at once, she hit rock bottom, but was able to find the inspiration to move forward after reading a self-help book.
Soon after, she became friends with Lena Dunham, started writing for BuzzFeed, and is now a senior writer at Refinery29 while also working on a personal memoir. As a survivor of sexual assault, Ashley talks about letting go of shame and the relationship between personal hardships and creativity. She also shares her perspective on Black Girl Magic and what she’s reclaimed on her heroine’s journey.
-Ashley as a little girl: A precocious, early reader who asked a lot of questions and was highly skeptical of adult authority. [2:57]
-On hitting puberty as a young woman – “It’s not about us, it’s about the way the world starts to react to us.” [10:11]
-Ashley talks about her father, who was in prison for most of her life, and how their relationship was further complicated after learning what his crime had been. [17:46]
-On personal experiences relating to creativity, why Ashley struggled so long to figure out what she wanted to do, and how she ended up becoming a writer. [21:04]
-Diving into Ashley’s transition to becoming a writer – from surviving on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to checking out all the self-help books at the library to getting a job at Buzzfeed. [26:57]
-Some of the beliefs she had to let go of in order to lead, plus her beautiful perspective on "black girl magic". [32:05]
-Ashley’s advice for making yourself more visible and vulnerable, her wisdom on shame, and what she’s in the process of reclaiming for herself. [38:25]
Ashley's website – http://www.ashleycford.net/
UENO - http://ueno.co/
Music by Lucia Lilikoi – lucia.bandcamp.com