Little Known Black History Fact: Ruth Carol Taylor, First Black Flight Attendant

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    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 airlines industry by applying for a stewardess position at Trans World Airlines (TWA). When she was rejected, Taylor filed a complaint.

    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 of dismissing flight attendants who  either married or became pregnant.

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