Delta AFA is Proud to Celebrate Black History Month!

Delta AFA is proud to celebrate Black History Month in February, an annual national observance that highlights the power and contributions of the Black community.

On February 11, 1958, Ruth Carol Taylor worked her first flight at Mohawk Airlines. She was the first African-American Flight Attendant in the United States. 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 like Taylor, 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.

In 2020, COVID-19 forced the world into an unprecedented, ongoing emergency—and the disproportionate harm of the pandemic shined a harsh light on modern inequities in our economy and our healthcare system. The murder of George Floyd shocked our country into action with more people marching against injustice in the streets than any other time in our history to declare that #BlackLivesMatter.

During the pandemic, we’ve also seen a systematic assault on our voting rights. As Flight Attendants, many Election Days we're away from home. That's why we often rely on early voting and mail ballots to cast our votes in local, state, and national elections. States like Georgia have passed laws to restrict voting access, including eliminating voting locations, shortening early voting periods, making it harder to request a mail-in or absentee ballot, and restricting people from handing out water at polling stations where people have had wait multiple hours to vote. This will make it harder for us to vote.

Sadly, restrictions like these are part of a long history of efforts to prevent Black Americans from voting. As union members, we know the importance of our vote—in our workplaces, our union and our society. We will not stand silently. And because of the nature of our jobs, attacks on Black Flight Attendants’ voting rights are a direct attack on ALL Flight Attendant voting rights. That's why we are fighting alongside Senator Warnock to ensure Congress acts to protect voting rights.

Racial justice and economic justice are interlocked. The right to vote, the right to join a union are intertwined. 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. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis while in town for the 1968 AFSCME Memphis Sanitation Workers' Strike. Speaking at the AFL-CIO convention in December, 1961, Dr. King said:

“Our needs are identical with labor's needs — decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children and respect in the community. That is why Negroes support labor's demands and fight laws which curb labor. That is why the labor-hater and labor-baiter is virtually always a twin-headed creature spewing anti-Negro epithets from one mouth and anti-labor propaganda from the other mouth.”

Our union is committed to building an inclusive, anti-racist workplace where every Flight Attendant can feel safe, welcomed and respected.

Delta AFA activists are distributing Black History Month AFA pins and a Black Lives Matter AFA pins. Diversity and Inclusion pins were a concept put forward by AFA members through AFA structure.

We're organizing to make 2022 the year we secure our union at Delta—sign a card, then sign up to help secure our union.

February 17 from 5:00pm-6:00pm Eastern,
Click here to RSVP >

An AFA pin is more than just metal and paint. For generations, Flight Attendants and workers have worn pins to show our solidarity and our intention to stand up for our rights at work.

Delta Flight Attendants can send a powerful message to one another, to management and to the passengers we serve that we are united. Wearing an AFA pin is essential to organizing our Flight Attendant union and is a clear sign that we’ve got each other's back.

In this workshop, we will discuss the value of wearing your AFA pin proudly, the importance of public support and why both are crucial to building a strong union. We'll all have a chance to practice how we talk about the importance of showing public support and overcoming resistance in some union supporters to be public and wear their AFA pin.