Ford’s Takes Credit For Helping To Create Black Middle Class

High Jive is exploring Black History Month ads, which he says are “a pain-in-the-ass to produce, given the politcally correct nature of it all.”
Here’s one sample from 2005.
The ad reads, in part:

In 1913, One Ad Changed The Face Of America’s Middle Class.
Henry Ford recognized the value of a skilled workforce—regardless of race. And when Ford Motor Company became the first major corporation to pay African American workers equal pay for equal work, it helped give birth to the Black middle class.

According to Hugh Jive, the Black middle class eventually returned the favor by loyally purchasing competitors’ cars.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Wow, that’s a bold move if I’ve ever seen one.

  2. Ford hired black workers in order to keep the factory running when he fired union organizers. If anyone should get the credit for creating the black and white middle class, it should be the unions.

  3. That’s like the Chevron ads that claim that consumers need to be more energy efficient ( while they’re raking in record profits on oil sales.