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2019 Speakers

Flying HobosThe Flying Hobos—an interactive Living History Play that demonstrates the life and accomplishments of first African Americans to fly across the United States. Think Colonial Williamsburg, except these heroes are African Americans who were part of the golden age of flight.

Imagine you are a ten-year old African American child, searching for a role model. Do you turn to the glitz and glam of pop culture or the history books in your classroom, which largely overlook minority heroes?

Now imagine that same ten-year old sees James Herman Banning and Thomas Cox Allen walking down the hallway in period correct clothing.

Later that same day, Banning, and Allen perform The Flying Hobos at the local school or library or theater, granting students of all ages the opportunity to meet Banning and Allen and learn about how their accomplishments. Not only was James Herman Banning the first African American to fly across the Continental United States, he was also the first to receive a U.S. Dept. of Commerce pilot's license.  He even built his first plane so he could earn the necessary solo hours to gain his pilot’s license.

 

For a list of the speakers from the 2018 1st annual Conference on Diversity in Aviation please click here.