Black women are so lit. When you mix intelligence with strategy, beauty and flavor, you have a Black woman. Last weekend, I was in Memphis just minding my business, doing my blogging thing in the lobby of my hotel. And people were coming to me telling me that they liked my style and asked me what I was working on.
Like, I was straight chilling and doing me. And the attention I was receiving was insane.
Message: Black women-don't ever let anyone tell you, you aren't popping. They are looking and emulating. DO YOU.
One woman who used her beauty, flavor, intelligence mixed with strategy was Ruth Taylor, America’s First Black Flight Attendant. When the civil rights movement began in the 1950s, African Americans struggled to achieve civil rights equal to those of whites, including equal opportunity in housing, education, and employment.
During this period, most significant positions in major job sectors were handled by whites and the airline industry was no exception.
A few black employees who were working for the major U.S. carriers were in service positions while the pronounced roles – pilots and flight attendants – were white.
This discriminatory practice continued until February 11, 1958, when Ruth Carol Taylor broke the colour barrier to become the first African American airline flight attendant.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts on December 27, 1931, to a nurse and a barber, Taylor and her family moved to a farm in upstate New York when she was young. She attended Elmira College in New York and graduated from the Bellevue School of Nursing in New York City as a registered nurse.
She first applied for a stewardess position at a major U.S. carrier – Trans World Airline (TWA) – but her application was rejected. This forced her to file a complaint against the company with the New York State Commission on discrimination.
At that same time, a regional carrier – Mohawk Airlines – announced its interest in hiring minority flight attendants. Taylor applied for the position though she later believed that the move by the New York-based airline was to gain worldwide publicity.
Out of 800 black applicants, Taylor was picked and was hired in December 1957. Taylor suspected that the fact that she was “near-white enough with aquiline features, so-called” and had “answered the questions about race in the way I knew they wanted them answered” moved hers to the top of the pile of 800 applications, said the Black Christian News Network.
On February 11, 1958, she became the first African American flight attendant on a flight from Ithaca to New York City. Her aviation history was not without restrictions, as she was never asked to join the rest of the crew for meals.
Calling herself a “blacktivist,” Taylor said in a 1997 interview with Jet Magazine that she had no long-term career aspirations as a flight attendant but only wanted to break the colour barrier.
Today, thanks to Taylor and many other black personalities who fought for influential roles in the aviation industry, black women are not only training as flight attendants but have pushed into piloting that was hitherto left for men.
We been fly.