Kyle Johnson
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Angela Bassett Discusses Built Ford Proud in “The Essence of Pride”

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Angela Bassett Ford Expedition MAX The Essence of Pride
Angela Bassett sits radiantly in a Ford Expedition MAX in “The Essence of Pride”
Photo: Ford Motor Company

Angela Bassett is, let’s just say it, incredible. For going on 30 years now, Bassett has filled screens around the world with a presence and poise that cements her among the finest actress of our times. From Reva in the late, great John Singleton’s film Boyz in the Hood to Betty Shabazz in both Spike Lee’s Malcom X and Melvin Van Peebles’ Panther to Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do with It to turns as Marie Laveau in American Horror Story and Ramonda in Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame, there’s seemingly no role she can’t fill.

Recently, Angela Bassett took on a new role altogether: spokeswoman for Ford Motor Company. Part of the Built Ford Proud campaign, “The Essence of Pride” sees Bassett speaking about both the “beautiful and brilliant sentiment and slogan,” the impact of Essence magazine on black girls and women, and how far she’s come in her storied career.

Angela Bassett: The Essence of Pride


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In the video, Bassett — who can be seen sitting magnificently in the backseat of a 2019 Ford Expedition MAX thumbing through a copy of Essence — hits on how Built Ford Proud is about the unification of elements, including the human element:

“Built Ford Proud, the concept of it, begins with a nut and a bolt and a wheel, a seat, a bit of leather, some steel. It begins with human hands taking these inanimate objects, putting them together, [the vehicle] coming together, and it being something that’s useful.”

Angela Bassett Built Ford Proud

Bassett also talks about Essence magazine and its focus on the beauty and intellect of black women. Ford has been a sponsor of the Essence Festival for 10 years and will likely make it an 11th year with the upcoming 2019 event. Describing herself as a worker, Bassett says that she’s still growing in all aspects of her life. Though she says she’s by no means perfect, she is aiming for perfection, and that common goal is what resonates with her about the Built Ford Proud slogan.

To be fair, nobody is perfect, but Angela Bassett, who has inspired so many girls in her career, is maybe not as far off as she might think.


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