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FedEx's first African American woman pilot looks back on her journey

FedEx's first African American woman pilot looks back on her journey
Posted at 4:32 PM, Feb 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-21 17:32:12-05

Tahirah Lamont Brown reflected on making history as FedEx's first African-American woman pilot.

FedEx shared a story highlighting the historic pilot, earlier this month.

In 2002, Brown was hired as FedEx's first ever black, female pilot. This was 10 years after she first set foot in a cockpit in 1992.

FedEx asked Brown about barriers she faced as an African American woman in the field.

Brown said, "There were barriers, for sure. I didn’t know any pilots and didn’t know how to pay for flight school. I worked two jobs to pay for college and for flight training. I also wrote my family a letter asking them for support. I promised that if they would help me now, I would pay them back when I had the money, and they helped me."

Her hard work has paid off. Now, she is Airbus Captain and Line Check Airman for the company.

Brown shared that she met Bill Norwood, United Airlines' first black pilot, who had an impact on her. He introduced her to the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP), where she was able to find support and scholarships.

With the help of OBAP and a professor, Brown's dreams came true. She shared that Professor Ray Marshall provided flight training in exchange for babysitting services.

"Ray helped me get my private pilot’s license. From there, OBAP helped me get an opportunity through their Professional Pilot Development program," she said. 

Though Brown has had a successful career and helped make great strides for African American women, she said, "I will not feel like I’ve made it until I see more minorities in the industry."

Brown is still involved in the organization and continues to help with its mission of encouraging diversity in aerospace careers.

Click HERE to read more about her story.