On February 22nd, New York Parlouristas and style lovers will have the chance to relive the golden-era of travel when the Maysles Institute hosts a discussion featuring the Pan Am Black Birds, the African-American flight attendants of the famed airline which was not only known for the beauty of the staff, but the brains and personality of the select women. Fans of the surprise hit ABC tv series Pan Am can already transport themselves to the time when air-travel was for when only the lucky ones who could afford it, and when they could—were treated to a level of luxury service only found in the most prestigious of first-class cabins today.
In the 60s and 70s, Pan Am was one of the largest airlines in the world and known for their impeccable service, exotic destinations and their famed attendants, who underwent a rigorous yet rewarding selection process. In exchange for being the pretty faces of the airline and providing top-nothc service, Pan Am World Airways attendants were given the opportunity to see the world and often concluded their careers multi-lingual and with a global perspective that also influenced the status of women during that time. Since air-travel was only affordable to some, a woman who traveled as much as the women of Pan Am was a rarity—and a black woman who did was virtually unheard of.
Travel and history lovers should enjoy this discussion that features seven original African-American Pan Am Stewardesses and one former pilot. An opportunity to kick it with the women at Harlem restaurant Red Rooster will follow after the panel is over. Information is below, see you there!
above: original Black Bird, SheliaNutt in 1966 aka Miremebe’s mommy!