Last week, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) released a statement warning African-Americans not to patronize American Airlines.
The organization cited a series of racially motivated incidents involving Black Americans for its ban and said the statement was meant to serve as a travel advisory for Black Americans regarding their safety and well being on the popular airline.
“The NAACP for several months now has been monitoring a pattern of disturbing incidents reported by African-American passengers, specific to American Airlines,” the statement said. “In light of these confrontations, we have today taken the action of issuing national advisory alerting travelers—especially African Americans—to exercise caution, in that booking and boarding flights on American Airlines could subject them disrespectful, discriminatory or unsafe conditions. This travel advisory is in effect beginning today, October 24, 2017, until further notice.”
Now, it appears the activists have gained some ground in their quest for equality. According to a statement sent to EBONY on behalf of American Airlines, members of the corporation recently met with members of the NAACP.
New York City activist, Tamika Mallory, was joined by NAACP President, Derrick Johnson, NAACP General Counsel. Brad Berry, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation CEO, Melanie Campbell, Social Justice rapper, Mysonne Linen and Attorney, Royce Russell, for a meeting with American Airlines CEO Doug Parker. Kerry Philipovitch, senior VP of Customer Experience was also in attendance.
“Organizations like the NAACP can help us. So we welcome the opportunity to work with them,” Parker said in a statement sent to EBONY. “We have reached out to the organization and expect to begin working together in the very near term. That is good news for the people of American, our customers and our shareholders. We look forward to what lies ahead as a result of this effort and we’ll keep you apprised as our work develops.”
Last week’s travel ban highlighted recent incidents involving Black passengers that took place on AA flights, including when a Black man was required to give up his purchased seats for a flight from D.C. to Raleigh because he responded to disrespectful and discriminatory comments directed at him by two white passengers.
Stay tuned for developments.