Celebrating Black History Month
AFA is proud to celebrate Black History Month in February, an annual national observance that highlights the power and impact of the Black community.
On February 11, 1958, Ruth Carol Taylor worked her first flight at Mohawk Airlines. She was the first African-American Flight Attendant in the United States. Only six months after breaking one historic barrier, Taylor's career ended due to another discriminatory policy: the airline's marriage ban, a common practice among airlines of the day of dismissing Flight Attendants who became either married or pregnant.
While we celebrate the contributions of trailblazers like Taylor, this month is not just a time to highlight history—we must take on racism, poverty and inequality today to make lasting change. That starts in our union, in our industry and our country.
In 2020, COVID-19 forced the world into an unprecedented, ongoing emergency—and the disproportionate harm of the pandemic shined a harsh light on modern inequities in our economy and our healthcare system. The murder of George Floyd propelled our country into the streets to demand change and declare again that #BlackLivesMatter.
Racial justice and economic justice are interlocked—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and pioneers of the Civil Rights movement stood shoulder to shoulder with Labor leaders like A. Philip Randolph, Al Shanker and the Reuther brothers, understanding that economic freedom is key to self-determination.
Our union is committed to building an inclusive, anti-racist workplace where every member can feel safe, welcomed and respected.
Diversity and Inclusion pins were a concept put forward by AFA members through AFA structure. We have a Black History Month pin, a Black Lives Matter pin, PRIDE pin, an AAPI pin, a Hispanic-American Heritage Month pin, a Native American Heritage Month pin, and more. We expect to hear from additional members who want to celebrate our diverse history, and we will take similar action when we do.
Look for AFA's focus on Black History throughout the month.