Courage to Fight for the Rights to Fly: America’s First Black Flight Attendants

MIAMI (February 03, 2010) ““ Gailen David, Founder of The Sky Steward, an online resource and forum for travelers, will be featuring some of America’s first black flight attendants on his February 5, 2010 blog radio show from 1 ““ 2:30 pm (EST). The show, honoring Black History Month, will include Patricia Edminston-Banks, one of America's very first black stewardesses, along with members of the Black Flight Attendants of America, Inc. (BFAOA). The show will be broadcasted live from and will also be available as a podcast from the site, as well as iTunes.
As early as 1941, New York State had laws on the books banning discrimination. It was not until black women trying to enter the airline work force, insisted on their rights, that the airlines relented. Patricia Edmiston- Banks was only 20-years-old in 1956 when she filed an historic case against Capital Airlines (now UAL) when they turned down her application based on race. She won the case in 1960. By the time the Court ordered Capital to accept Banks (or face contempt of court charges), TWA and Mohawk had already hired black flight attendants “” probably to avoid the litigation they saw in the Capital case. This delay caused by the court case has hidden Patricia’s status as the first black flight attendant. While Patricia was waiting for the outcome of her case, Mohawk, a regional airlines, hired a young black woman named Ruth Taylor.
The show will also feature Jacqueline Jacquet-Williams, Shaakira Edison and Louise Greenwood Phipps. Jacqueline is Founder-National President, BFAOA, Inc., National LAX. She has worked for Continental Airlines as a flight attendant since1974. Shaakira Edison is Founder-President of Detroit Chapter of BFAOA, Inc. She is also Chairperson for the 36 Annual Convention to be held August 4-6, 2010 at the Marriott Memphis, Memphis, TN. Louise Greenwood Phipps, flew for United, and is currently teaching English and Math at Navy College, NAS Lemoore California.
“I’m extremely excited about the guests that I will be featuring on Friday’s show. These women had the courage to fight for their right to fly, broke the crew color barrier, and changed the course of history,“ says Gailen David, “All the women who fought for the right to integrate crews deserve special recognition and I look forward to hearing their personal stories and the history behind this spirited movement,“ adds David.
Throughout Gailen’s career he has been an advocate for proper in-flight protocol and customer service. Gailen is also the author of “Jetiquette“¦The Customer Experience and You.“ Another resource that travelers can turn to is, where Gailen is the featured host. Listeners can call in with their questions, complaints and travel experiences.

About Sky Steward:
Sky Steward was founded by air travel expert, Gailen David, and serves as an online resource and forum for travelers. The site provides industry analysis and expert opinions regarding travel, customer service, the airline industry, airfares, in-flight service and airport related topics. Sky Steward also serves as a resource for several national media outlets, including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, and Fox news. For additional information, visit

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