Ashley C. Ford’s Memoir Recalls Life With a Single Mom and a Jailed Dad

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By Bridgett M. Davis

A Memoir
By Ashley C. Ford

Ashley C. Ford shares an anecdote rich with symbolism early in her memoir, “Somebody’s Daughter.” One day when she’s a child, her grandmother digs a hole in their backyard in Missouri, revealing several garden snakes slithering around, intertwined. When Ford asks her grandmother what they’re doing, she replies, “They’re loving each other, baby.” Her grandmother then pours lighter fluid into the hole, lights a match and tosses it in; little Ashley watches in fascination as the snakes squeeze closer together while burning to death. “These things catch fire without letting each other go,” her grandmother explains. “We don’t give up on our people. We don’t stop loving them. … Not even when we’re burning alive.”

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