Veteran air traffic control manager Priscilla Russell is using her historic career as the premise of a new book. Russell, one of the first Black women to join Atlanta’s Air Route Traffic Control Center as a front-line manager, seeks to inspire with the first installation of her two-part book series, In Control: On a Wing and a Prayer.
Loosely based on her life and experience throughout Georgia’s air traffic control industry, the fictional series details the many obstacles a woman attempting to succeed in a male-dominated industry faces and how she manages to overcome them.
“I have worked radar positions at the busiest Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) in the world, Atlanta ARTCC in Hampton, Ga. I was the first African-American woman in the history of Atlanta ARTCC to be selected as a Front-Line Manager in 1994. It’s hard to believe there are still ‘first’ happenings for Black women in America,” Russell said in a press release.
Equipped with a master’s degree in space and aviation technology from Oklahoma State University, Russell seeks to educate women of color on careers in aviation.
Although Russell was the first African-American woman to join Atlanta’s Air Route Traffic Control Center, Eleanor Joyce Toliver-Williams was the first African-American woman to certify as an air traffic controller, in 1971.
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Jasmine Washington is a beauty-obsessed journalist by day and a trap music connoisseur by night. A lifelong New Yorker, she got her start as an intern at the now-defunct Juicy Magazine. Jasmine joined the EBONY.com team as a writer, penning daily stories on all things Black culture and entertainment.