Good morning High flyers. Today is Africa day and I want to introduce you to the ‘father of black aviation’, Alfred “Chief” Anderson.
Interested in flying from a young age, this African American saved enough money by the time he was twenty to take flying lessons, but could not find a school that would accept a black student. “You can’t fly, you are a Negro. Blacks are only meant to be farmers,” they often told him. But nothing could deter ‘Chief’ from achieving his dream.
With his savings and some borrowed money, he bought his own plane and begged for lessons from any pilot who would listen. He finally found an instructor called Ernest Buehl, a German World War I pilot who agreed to help him. Finally, ‘Chief’ Anderson earned his Private Pilot Certificate in 1929, and in 1932 he became the first black to receive his Transport License. He spent the next six decades training and mentoring countless African American aviators. He was known and loved by the thousands of pilots he trained during his 53 years as an instructor.
In my home office, I have a photo of “Chief” Anderson in 1941 showing him smiling from the cockpit of his plane, as a beaming Eleanor Roosevelt (the then first lady of the U.S.A) sits behind him. He sat with presidents and was widely sought from far away nations for his expertise.
Proverbs 18:16 says “A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.”
I know you want to be a pilot but financial difficulty troubles you,but I want you to see that temporary financial setback as your life’s opportunity to find your purpose. Like ‘Chief’ you will change the course of your suffering and find that you can only prosper and dine with Kings by what’s inside of you.Being an African is not a curse. The reality is; this greatness can only be discovered in the dark moments, so give up the urge to despise hard times, give up the anxiety that you won’t make it through and embrace the reward that is promised to come.
We are Africans, we have the right to fly to soar and to dance the skies! Tomorrow we look at some interesting facts about black representation in flying, so keep in touch.