Tammy Gibson, Contributing Writer
Casey Grant, one of the first African American stewardesses of Delta Air Lines, is on a mission to honor the unsung men and women in aviation, despite the obstacles in their path.
Wednesday, February 16, 2022, is International Black Aviation Day to honor black aviators, past and present, who dared to dream among the stars and beyond. Airlines, schools, and aviation enthusiasts globally will be honoring African American pioneers and their accomplishments. Grant will be receiving a proclamation from Mayor, Kermit “Bo” Dorough in Albany, GA, and Congresswoman Robin Kelly.
Illinois is the home to prominent aviators, including Bessie Coleman, Cornelius Coffey, Janet Bragg, John C. Robinson, and Willa Mae Brown.
Grant’s mission for the event is to honor black pioneers in aviation for their courage and perseverance that paved the way for people of color to pursue a career in aviation. It’s vital to Grant to share their stories to expose young people to aviation. Grant is the author of “Stars in the Sky” and “Stars and Beyond.”
“Black flight attendants and aviators have been fighting for our civil rights in the sky, and it has never been documented nor acknowledged. My mission is to spread the word and educate our youth on this special day to honor and celebrate our black pioneers in aviation during Black History Month,” says Grant.
The celebration of International Black Aviation Day will kick off with a virtual program on February 9, 2022, on Grant’s podcast, “The Fly Girl Show.” Guest will include:
- Gigi Coleman – CEO at Bessie Coleman Foundation, Director and Teacher at Bessie Coleman Aviation All-Stars, and Bessie Coleman’s great-niece.
- Patricia Banks-Edmiston – First African American female commercial stewardess.
- Barbara Williams – First African American Certified Air Traffic Controller in the Great Lakes Region and the state of Ohio.
- Jacqueline Jacquet-Williams – Founder of the first African American flight attendants’ organization, Black Flight Attendants of America, Inc.
- Theresa Claiborne – First African American female captain for United and one of the co-founders of Sisters of the Skies.
- Guion (Guy) Bluford – First African American astronaut to space.
- Patrick Evans Annakwah – CEO & Founder at Express Events and works at Global Institute of Aviation in Ghana.
- Ibrahim Mahama – Contemporary Artist and aviation advocate.
- Doug “Snake” Byrd – Aerobatic pilot.
- Barbara Williams – First African American female certified air traffic controller in the Great Lakes Region and the State of Ohio.