Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Celebrating Black History

I'd like to give a big thanks to Alexis Stodghill at AOL's Black Voices for profiling me and my blog, BlackGivesBack, for Black History Month! is one of my favorite sites, so of course I'm very excited about this opportunity. Check out the article HERE to learn more about me as I share history on black philanthropy, my favorite philanthropist, the importance of African Americans supporting each other through community service and financial grants, and why black philanthropy is critical to our future.

I'd also like to give a big thanks to, a wonderful education and career focused network website that also profiled me for Black History Month. The site is full of great resources for new and future college students, with advice on career preparation, life skills, community, and stories relevant to today's students. So visit the site and sign up (and read my feature article!)

Making the news in Black History, Continental Airlines has named a plane in honor of the first African American pilot hired by a major U.S. airline. Via Continental Airlines:

Continental Airlines Names Plane in Honor of Captain Marlon Green, Who Broke Racial Barriers in Pilot Hiring

HOUSTON, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL) named one of its aircraft in honor of its late Capt. Marlon Green, who won a landmark legal battle to become the first African American pilot hired by a major U.S. passenger airline, in a special ceremony at Bush Intercontinental Airport today.

"Capt. Green was a pioneer who was willing to challenge the unacceptable status quo of the time and paved the way for the most qualified applicants to be hired, regardless of the color of their skin," said Jeff Smisek, Continental's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "His bold actions have helped make Continental what it is today, a company of great diversity."

Green resigned from the U.S. Air Force in 1957 after nine years and more than 3,000 hours of flying multi-engine aircraft to apply for a job with a commercial airline. He was rejected by every airline at which he applied, including Continental, where he was granted a flight test and interview only after he declined to note his race on his application. Continental's refusal to hire him while hiring other less qualified applicants became the basis of his six-year legal challenge that culminated with a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1963, which ensured no applicant for a pilot's position would be denied a job on the basis of race. Green finally began flying for Continental in 1965 and he remained with the company for 14 years until his retirement. He died in 2009 at the age of 80.

Today, thanks in part to Capt. Green's pioneering efforts, Continental's workforce represents a rich diversity of cultures and lifestyles, where ethnic minorities account for more than 40 percent of the domestic workforce. The company's Diversity Council, Supplier Diversity Program, Diversity Awareness Training and Diversity Awareness Events all support a commitment to diversity and inclusion within Continental's long-standing culture of treating each other with dignity and respect.

The press release also states that Continental Airlines is the world's fifth largest airline, with more than 41,000 employees. Great story!

Photo: The Green Family via PRNewswire


Anonymous said...

Bless him for paving the way for other African American pilots. It's also great to hear more stories about other Blacks who made history versus the same few we seem to celebrate.

Miss Journey said...

Congrats on being features on Black Voices. This blog is certainly worthy of being acknowledged for Black History Month. It's my first time here, and I love it!

Tracey said...

Thank you Miss Journey!