Category: Transportation

United States – Segregation Of Interstate Travel Ruled Illegal

The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) had issued a ruling in Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company (1955) that had explicitly denounced the Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) doctrine of “separate but equal” in interstate bus travel.  The ICC failed to enforce its ruling, and Jim Crow travel laws remained in force.. Read More…

Bessie Coleman, aviatrix. Photo Credit: © New York Public Library Digital Collections.

United States – Bessie Coleman, Pilot License

Bessie Coleman was the first African American woman, and also the first Native American, to hold a pilot license. She earned her pilot license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale in France on June 15, 1921, and was the first Black person to earn an international pilot’s license. Born to a.. Read More…

Pullman porter at the Union Station in Chicago, Illinois. Photo Credit: © Jack Delano via Library of Congress.

United States – Pullman Porters

Starting shortly after the Civil War circa 1860s, the Pullman Company hired formerly enslaved Black people to work as porters on their sleeper cars. They became known as the Pullman Porters. Their job was to carry passengers’ baggage, shine shoes, set up and maintain the sleeping berths, and serve passengers… Read More…

United States – Columbia Air Center

Columbia Air Center opened in 1941. This was an airfield in Croom, Maryland, that was set up by African American pilots who were not permitted to use other airports. With an all-Black staff and several trainers who had served in World War II as Tuskegee Airmen, the airfield was open.. Read More…