Patricia Banks Edmiston, the first Black Commercial Stewardess in the United States

Ruth Carol Taylor - One of the First Black Flight Attendants

Patricia Banks-Edmiston

We would be remiss if we did not honor the person that made it all possible.
Patricia Banks-Edmiston was the first Black woman to sue the commercial flight industry for discrimination. A native New Yorker with the dream of becoming a stewardess in 1956 she applied, was accepted and graduated from Grace Downs Air Career School. Upon graduation without hearing any news for some time, she found out that none of the major airlines ( TWA Airlines, Mohawk Airlines, Capital Airlines, United Airlines) at that time were hiring "Negroes" or Blacks in flight capacities. In 1960, with four years of a legal fight, the court ruled in Banks-Edmiston's favor and she was hired. We give honor to Patricia Banks- Edmiston for her courage for fighting for our civil rights in aviation.


Patricia Banks-Edmiston was the first black woman to sue the commercial flight industry for discrimination. While Ruth Carol Taylor was the first black attendant hired in 1958 in response to the discrimination suit Banks started, Banks had opened the doors of the courtroom to make it possible.

Patricia Banks-Edmiston

Ruth Carol Taylor
Patricia Banks- Edmiston's discrimation lawsuit agaist commerial airline carriers opened the door for Ruth Carol Taylor. While awaiting Patricia's verdict, Ruth Carol Taylor was hired as the first Black stewardess by Mohawk Airlines.  On February 11th, 1958 Ruth Carol Taylor worked her first flight from Ithaca to New York City.  Six months on the job, Ruth was terminated as a result of Mohowk's then common-marriage ban.  Since then, she has dedicated her life fighting for minorites and women's rights.

Casey Grant

Casey Grant is one of Delta Airlines first Black flight attendants. Now retired, Casey is serving the skies as an advocate, author and entrepreneur.

First All Black Female Flight Crew
Atlantic Southeast Airlines, an Atlanta-based Delta connection regional carrier, made aviation history when one of its flights from Atlanta to Nashville was conducted by an entire Black female crew. Captain Rachelle Jones, First Officer Stephanie Grant and flight attendants Diana Galloway and Robin Rodgers worked the flight.

The Sky Is The Limit