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Wed, Jul 20, 2011

Classic Aero-TV: Raising Horizons -- The Org. of Black Aerospace Professionals

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 well.

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 future.


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 necessary."



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