March 9, 2009

OURstory: All Black Female Flight Crew

Four African American women made history last month when they took an ASA flight from Atlanta to Nashville. They weren't passengers. They were the nation's first all Black all female flight crew.

Captain Rachelle Jones, first officer Stephanie Grant, and flight attendants Diana Galloway and Robin Rogers worked an ASA flight from Atlanta to Nashville they never expected to make history. In fact, it was a matter of chance.

"The first officer became ill and was replaced with Stephanie," said Galloway.

"When I got to the cockpit and I saw Rachelle -- we just met a few weeks prior," Grant said. "And I was just ecstatic when I saw her in there."

"We did not realize the historic ramifications of it," Rogers said. "We were just like, okay this is gonna be fun."

But Captain Rachelle Jones got it right away. She and Grant in the cockpit, Galloway and Rogers in the cabin -- all Black, all female.

"I said this could be a first, so let's be on our P's and Q's," Jones said.

"I think we had a little more pep in our step," said Galloway. "I think we were just so proud."

Jones is one of only ten black female airline captains in the country. She used to be a customer service agent for Delta. Piloting was never on her radar until a friend suggested it.

Atlantic Southeast Airlines Captain Rachelle Jones completed her upgrade traning in April 2008 and has now become the airline's first Black female Captain.

As little girls, they'd never seen anyone who looked like them piloting a plane. Now for other little girls, they're proof you really can be whatever you want to be.

"Fate may have a little bit to do with it, but for everyone that will look at us as role models or look to aspire to be what we are today, they need to know that it was hard work and dedication to get here," Grant said.

"Young girls need to see that yes they can be flight attendants and yes they can be pilots," said Jones. "The sky is the limit."

Villagers are invited to congratulate the crew.

6 comments:

RiPPa said...

AWESOME!

This is indeed a proud moment. Not just for African Americans, but more specifically for women of color. The cliche "The Sky Is The Limit" sure seems to be personified by these sisters.

Villager said...

RiPPa - I like your suggested motto! I should have used it in the blog title. It is a remarkable thing to realize that an airline flew passengers with an entirley Black female crew...

DNLee said...

Wow, what a great way to commemorate Women's History Month and cap off Black History Month!
You should submit this post to the Diversity in Science Carnival

Villager said...

Danielle - I thought I missed window of opportunity for your blog carnival. Would you be so kind as to remind me of the URL to make a submission?

msladydeborah said...

These sistas are the type of role models that we need for our daughters and granddaughters!

I'm glad to see that other Black bloggers jumped on this story. It is always a good day when we make positive progress in our story.

Villager said...

Lady D - I'm glad that the sisters had the presence of mind to take the photos!