Flying First Class

Flying First Class

Written on 05/20/2022

Ruth Carol Taylor was the first African-American airline flight attendant in America, She made the historic mark back on February 11, 1958.

After working as a nurse, Taylor challenged the discriminatory practices of the airline's industry by applying for a stewardess position at Trans World Airlines (TWA). When she was rejected. Taylor filed a complaint. Unfortunately, nothing happened nor was she contacted.

When upstart regional carrier Mohawk Airlines said it would hire minorities, she applied and was selected out of 800 applicants. But just six months later, Taylor's career ended due to another discriminatory barrier: the airline's marriage ban, a common practice among airlines of the day dismissing flight attendants who either married or became pregnant.

She later became an active voice for women's rights and was heavily involved in the 1963 March of Washington. 

Taylor is the President/Founder of The Institute for “Interracial” Harmony, Incorporated, she invented the concept of Racism/Colorism Quotient Testing individuals. She is the author of The Little Black Book: Black Male Survival in America: Staying Alive & Well in an Institutionally Racist Society. She has consistently struggled against what she calls “untreated racism/colorism”s for decades and is committed to healing society of its widespread denial of conditioned discrimination against human beings so that all people, especially the children, may have the opportunity of living in communities free of being adversely judged on the basis of their color.



"In a 1997 Jet Magazine interview, Taylor admitted that she had no long-term career aspirations as a flight attendant but merely wanted to break the color barrier."

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