The struggle for equality in this world has not been an easy one. While the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and 1970s may have paved the way for equal treatment, it’s often in short supply out in the real world.
That’s why the two ladies we’re about to introduce you to are so important. They just proved that if you follow your dreams and you’re passionate about what you can do, you can achieve anything – the sky is literally the limit.
So, let’s meet Stephane Johnson and Dawn Cook and see what they did that was so amazing.
10. Black History Month
This year’s Black History Month has just drawn to a close, and that means that there’s no better time to celebrate the achievements of two black women in America. It’s hard to imagine a better story to bring Black History Month to a happy conclusion with, either.
9. Negro History Week
It doesn’t sound politically correct today, but Black History Month began as Negro History Week in 1926. The start date, February 13, was chosen because it was between the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. They were two of the Civil Rights Movement’s earliest and most important agents.
8. 1976 – A Welcome Change
In 1976 in the United States, the week was extended to a month and rechristened as Black History Month. The then-president, Gerald Ford, said that the American people should, “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
7. Meet Stephanie Johnson
Stephanie Johnson had already made history on her own with the airlines once before. She is a full-qualified pilot and ranks as Captain of a plane. She was the very first black female pilot with a commercial airline in the United States and has been flying for more than 20 years.
6. How She Started
Stephanie told Delta’s in-house news team “There were no pilots in my life growing up, and I think I’m the first person in my family to graduate from college. But for as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with airplanes and would think, “What a great thing it would be to know how to fly.”
5. She Did It
Stephanie studied at Kent State University and qualified as a flying instructor. She was hired as America’s first African-American female pilot by Northwest Airlines in 1997. She’s been flying ever since. She says at one time she knew the name of every black pilot in the country, but today there are far too many to count.