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All-Black women crew operates American Airlines flight from Dallas in honor of trailblazer Bessie Coleman

The airline hosted the Bessie Coleman Aviation All-Stars tour this week to have fun the a hundredth anniversary of Coleman performing the primary public flight by an African American lady in 1922.

Coleman’s great-niece, Gigi Coleman, was hosted on the flight operated by the all-Black feminine crew of pilots, flight attendants, customer support coordinators, cargo workforce members and the aviation upkeep technician, the airline mentioned.

“I’m grateful for American Airlines to give us this opportunity to highlight my great aunt’s accomplishments in the field of aviation,” Gigi said in a video posted by American Airlines titled “Empowering Women in the Skies.”

Very few American women of any race had pilot’s licenses by 1918, however those that did have been typically White and wealthy. Undeterred, Coleman realized French and moved to Paris and was accepted by the Caudron Brothers School of Aviation. In 1921, Coleman grew to become the primary feminine pilot of African American and Native American descent.

Coleman died at 34 in 1926 throughout a follow run with one other pilot. While she by no means fulfilled her dream to open a flight college for future Black pilots, Coleman’s imprint on aviation historical past lives on, CNN previously reported.

Black women have been “notably underrepresented in the aviation industry, especially as pilots, representing less than 1% in the commercial airline industry,” American Airlines mentioned.

“Today, I’m beyond thrilled to be a part of the crew where we are inspiring young girls, young girls of color, to see the various roles that these women play in every aspect to make this flight possible,” Captain Beth Powell, the flight’s pilot, mentioned in the video.

American Airlines mentioned it’s dedicated to diversifying the flight deck, which incorporates “expanding awareness of and increasing accessibility to the pilot career within diverse communities” via its cadet academy.

The day after the historic flight, representatives from the Bessie Coleman Foundation and American Airlines pilots and cadets met with college students on the Academies at South Mountain in Phoenix, the place the flight landed, to reveal younger individuals to careers in the aviation trade.

“I knew she was the first African American woman to get her pilot’s license, she was the first to do it so she inspired the next generation to follow her footsteps and know that they can also be what they want to be,” mentioned Mohamed Mohamed, an aspiring airline pilot who research aerospace on the academy, in the video.

CNN’s Karla Pequenino contributed to this report.



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