AFA Celebrates Black History Month

Celebrating Black History Month

February 1, 2024 — AFA is proud to celebrate Black History Month in February, an annual national observance that highlights the power and impact of the Black community.

Black History Month is a dedicated time to honor and celebrate the contributions of Black Americans throughout history and the present with emphasis on achievements that have been impactful domestically and abroad. It is an opportunity to engage in stories that provide historical context and highlight accomplishments that are often overlooked and not discussed in the standard history books.

Let us dedicate time and space for our Black brothers and sisters, to hear their stories of both resilience and excellence. It’s also a great month to explore shopping from Black businesses - because economic justice is social justice.

Finally, this month allows us to reflect on how far we have come, yet how much further we have to go and decide what our role will be in this work. Be sure to check out any events in your area.

Read AFA Human Rights & Equity Committee’s newsletter on Black History Month.

On February 11, 1958, Ruth Carol Taylor worked her first flight at Mohawk Airlines. She was the first African-American Flight Attendant in the U.S. Only six months after breaking one historic barrier, Taylor's career ended due to another discriminatory policy: the airline's marriage ban, a common practice among airlines of the day of dismissing Flight Attendants who became either married or pregnant.

While we celebrate the contributions of trailblazers, this month is not just a time to highlight history—we must take on racism, poverty and inequality today to make lasting change. That starts in our union, in our industry and our country.

Racial justice and economic justice are interlocked—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and pioneers of the Civil Rights movement stood shoulder to shoulder with Labor leaders like A. Philip Randolph, Al Shanker and the Reuther brothers, understanding that economic freedom is key to self-determination.

In 2020, the murder of George Floyd propelled our country into the streets to demand change and declare again that #BlackLivesMatter. Police brutality is still all too common for Black Americans like Tyre Nichols in Memphis – who was brutally attacked by 5 or more officers and subsequently died.

Our union is committed to building an inclusive, anti-racist workplace where every member can feel safe, welcomed and respected. And as we do this, we build power together to make a difference in our work lives and home lives. 

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