An Enlightening Discussion About Color In Aviation
In the exhibit hall of the Women In Aviation Convention,
aviators of all types walked the floors... talking, sharing, and
enjoying the distinction of being among an elite group of people --
AVIATORS. And no matter their sex, color, origin or preferences; it
was a place where the true spirit of aviation was alive and
ANN's Editor-In-Chief, Jim Campbell,
had the opportunity to engage in a number of fascinating dialogues
with a number of exceptional flyers -- among them OBAP's Tony
Marshall -- who offered some insight into the current state of
people of color within the aviation industry... past, present and
OBAP is the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, a
non-profit organization section 501(c)(3) founded in 1976 to
enhance, advance, and promote education opportunities in aviation.
The Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, formerly The
Organization of Black Airline Pilots, took on a new name and as of
December 1, 2009, a new national location.
OBAP notes that. "While progress during the relatively short
lifetime of OBAP has been noteworthy, let none of us forget that
the struggle began long before. In fact, the struggle began close
to the dawn of American aviation, in the early 1900's during the
Bessie Coleman era.
It dates back to the time when black aviators were categorically
denied the right to be certified as pilots in the United States. It
continued through the famous 'Tuskegee Experience,' which decidedly
demonstrated that African-American pilots could fly as well as any
group, in combat or otherwise.
It continued through the years following World War II when none
of the 992 combat qualified graduates of the Tuskegee program were
deemed qualified to be pilots for the nation's major passenger
airlines. It continues today. It will continue as long as
FMI: www.obap.org, www.aero-tv.net, www.youtube.com/aerotvnetwork,