Transportation

Guion S. Bluford, first Black astronaunt in space. Photo Credit: © NASA via Wikimedia Commons.

United States – Guion Stewart Bluford Jr., First African American to travel to outer space

Guion Stewart “Guy” Bluford, Jr., was the first African American astronaut. Between 1983-1992, Bluford traveled “out of this world” four times, beginning with a ride on the maiden flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger.  This first flight was on August 30th, 1983. References: Anderson, Brian.  April 16, 2021.  “Innovator’s Spotlight: Col. Guion S. Bluford.”  Official […]

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United States – Barrington Irving, First Black Person And Youngest Person To Fly Solo Around The World

Born in Kingston, Jamaica but residing in the United States from a young age, Barrington Irving became the first African American to fly solo around the globe. Irving started his solo journey from Miami, Florida on March 23, 2007 and after stopping in various countries in Europe, Africa, The Middle East, and Asia, he returned

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British West Indies Airways logo.

Caribbean – British West Indies Airways (Original Name BWIA); Largest Airline Operating Out Of The Region

British West Indies Airways (BWIA) was founded on November 27, 1939. It is called Bee-Wee locally. BWIA shut down on December 31, 2006 and became a new airline called Caribbean Airlines. On May 27, 2011, Caribbean Airlines absorbed Jamaica-based and owned Air Jamaica. With a fleet of 17 airplanes, Caribbean Airlines currently flies to 23

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The Bahamas – Western Air

Husband-and-wife team, Rex J. Rolle and Shandrice Woodside-Rolle started Western Air in 2001. It is now the largest privately-owned airline in The Bahamas, valued at over US$90 million. Western Air received new leadership with Rolle’s daughter, Sherexcia ‘Rexy’ Rolle as Vice President of Operations. Currently, the Black-owned airline operates in major airports within The Bahamas

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United States – InterIsland Airways established by Lyndon R. Gardine

Established by Lyndon R. Gardine as InterIsland Airways, Ltd., the airline started out by offering charter services. It then rebranded as Air Turks & Caicos to offer more regional flights before rebranding again to become interCaribbean Airways in 2013. With a fleet of 14 airplanes, interCaribbean Airways now flies to 23 destinations in 16 different

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An Air Atlanta Boeing 727-100 at Miami International Airport in 1987. Photo Credit: © Perry Hoppe via Wikimedia Commons.

United States – Air Atlanta; first airline that is largely owned by Black people

Air Atlanta was started by attorneys Michael Hollis and Daniel Kolber in February 1984. Air Atlanta, was the first airline that is largely owned by Black people. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the airline flew to a dozen major cities including Detroit, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. Air Atlanta flew three million passengers

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United States – Jill Elaine Brown, First African American Woman To Be Hired As A Pilot For A Major Airline

Jill Elaine Brown was the first African American woman to be admitted into the U.S. Navy in 1974. Finding military protocols very difficult after six months, Brown left with an honorable discharge. After reading an article about Warren H. Wheeler, founder of the first African American owned-and-operated airlines, Brown persuaded her way into an interview

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Organization Of Black Aerospace Professionals logo.

United States – Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals

Founded in 1976, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals is a non-profit organization working towards the advancement of Black people in all areas of the aviation and aerospace industry. Originally named the Organization of Black Airline Pilots, their first meeting took place in Chicago on 17th and 18th September 1976 with thirty-seven of the industry’s

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United States – Captain Marlon Dewitt Green, First Black Airline Pilot

For six years, Marlon Dewitt Green fought a court battle with Continental Airlines since he was overlooked and rejected when he applied for a pilot position. His landmark United States Supreme Court decision in 1963 helped with dismantling racial discrimination within the American passenger airline industry. However, it wasn’t until 1965, after much paperwork, when

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