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FedEx Blog

Earning Her Wings: First FedEx African American Woman Pilot Reflects Journey

February 2, 2018

Tahirah Brown“We took off out of Long Island and flew to Greenwich, Connecticut.  I was on top of the world.  I could not believe that my view was the sky.”

FedEx Airbus Captain and Line Check Airman Tahirah Lamont Brown recalls her very first time in the cockpit in 1992—a momentous occasion for any pilot, but especially for an African American woman entering an industry dominated by men.  Brown later became the first African American woman pilot for FedEx, and shares how hard work, creativity, determination and mentors helped her build her “office in the sky.”

FedEx:  When did you decide you wanted to be a pilot, and what about flying intrigued you?

Tahirah: I decided to be a pilot in high school. At that time I had only flown twice in my life, but the more I learned about aviation, the more fascinated I became. I enjoy traveling, meeting new people, and learning about different cultures. Aviation matched my personality. It was an epiphany for me. I decided this is what I want to do, and God put people in my path along the way that helped me achieve my goal.

FedEx:  How did your parents react when you told them about your plans? 

Tahirah: My mother was nervous. My father was supportive, but wasn’t sure I was serious.

FedEx:  As an African American woman in a field dominated by men, did you feel there were barriers to your dream? 

Tahirah: There were barriers, for sure. I didn’t know any pilots and didn’t know how to pay for flight school.

I worked two jobs to pay for college and for flight training. I also wrote my family a letter asking them for support. I promised that if they would help me now, I would pay them back when I had the money, and they helped me.

I met Bill Norwood, the first black pilot at United Airlines, while in Tuskegee, Alabama, at Operation Skyhook and he introduced me to OBAP, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals. That introduction provided me with the guidance I needed, and also helped me with scholarships for flight training.

"I felt like the world had no limits." - Tahirah Brown, FedEx PilotFedEx: Describe your first flight and how it made you feel.

Tahirah: I still remember it vividly as it was exhilarating. I was twenty years old. My first flight was in a Cessna 172, a four-seat single engine prop plane. My instructor in college was with me, along with my supportive, yet reluctant father in the backseat. We took off out of Long Island and flew to Greenwich, Connecticut. I was on top of the world. I could not believe that my view was the sky.

We flew around as I tried to maintain wing level. I looked back at my dad and he was giving me the thumbs up, but I could tell he was getting a little queasy. I said: “you’re doubting me, right?” When we landed I felt like a child that was taking her first step–like the world had no limits. My father told me this was what I was meant to do. All his doubts were alleviated at that moment and going forward he only asked how he could help me.

FedEx: How and when did you get to FedEx, and what was your career path?

Tahirah: While studying for my degree in aviation business management, one of my professors Ray Marshall, a retired Eastern Airlines pilot, made me a deal.

If I would babysit his son and pay for airplane fuel, he would provide the flight instruction I needed. That was the start of my career in aviation.

Ray helped me get my private pilot’s license. From there, OBAP helped me get an opportunity through their Professional Pilot Development program.

A flight school was just opening, so I approached the owner of the school. I explained I was a hard worker, and looking to complete my instruments license while seeking a scholarship from OBAP. If he would give me an opportunity, he would not be disappointed. I answered phones, I would clean, whatever was needed. And they gave me a chance.

I taught as a flight instructor for two years, later joining Great Lakes Airlines (United Express) as a pilot. While attending Women in Aviation and OBAP conferences I would often speak with FedEx representatives, including pilot recruiter Beverly Hyter. Beverly played a pivotal role in my decision to join FedEx. I joined the company in 2002 as the first African American female pilot.

FedEx: Are you involved with OBAP today and what is their mission?

Tahirah: I have been an active member of OBAP since 1992. OBAP provides a means of mentorship and encouragement, to help minorities achieve their dreams. The encouragement comes from seeing people like you who have achieved.

FedEx:  Was there a moment when you felt like you had really made it in the industry?

Tahirah: While I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot, I will not feel like I’ve made it until I see more minorities in the industry. When I speak at conferences, I help provide information about FedEx and encourage minorities to apply. However, I have not seen a significant change.

FedEx: What is the role of a Line Check Airman?

Tahirah: I became a Line Check Airman in September 2017. A Line Check Airmen is a dual role position, an instructor and an evaluator. We’re selected and trained by FedEx Express and designated by the FAA to train, evaluate and certify the competency of FedEx pilots. With respect to knowledge, skill and proficiency.

FedEx: What do you say to young people, especially girls who are interested in flying?

Tahirah: I tell them my life story, and that the end result and sacrifices are going to be worth it. You have to make sacrifices, and the road is going to be hard. I let them know that I am here to support them, to give them advice and to listen to them, because that was important to me. But, they will have to find it within themselves to know that it is achievable.

I also tell young people to not allow negative attitudes to affect you. This has been true for me. We can be our biggest barriers at times. We have to overcome our own personal barriers to achieve our goals.

 


Comments

    Linda Brown says:

    Tahirah is my daughter-in-love and I can’t begin to speak to how proud I am of her as a woman, a pilot and a human being. Even if we weren’t related, I would respect and admire what she has been able to accomplish both professionally and personally. Thank you for profiling someone who is so deserving.

    LeRoy Moore says:

    You are related to an awesome human being!

    Jeanine says:

    Congratulations from 45371 retired 30 yrs thank you and FedEx for the best life and FedEx family for life

    Trudy Contos says:

    I AM PROUD OF YOU FOR ACCOMPLISHING MY DREAM SINCE A KID, FIRST A SINGER THAN A PILOT…..YOU MUST HAVE HAD GREAT PARENTS,FRIENDS AND A GREAT SUPPORT SYSTEM FROM FEDEX.
    WAY TO GO, FLY HIGH, BUT ALWAYS COME BACK DOWN, CAUSE YOU HAVE SOME SHARING AND ENCOURAGING WORDS TO ALL WOMAN! AND MEN, OH YEAH, MEN,

    Zepora Ronney says:

    Wow! I’m so inspired. I’m currently a flight attendant and have been contemplating being a pilot. Unfortunately I feel discouraged since I did not graduate college and I’m 29. I would love to have someone as awesome as her as a mentor. As I progress in my career she will definitely be a role model to look up to.

    Larobb Lee says:

    Zepora, a college degree is not necessary in getting a flight deck job. It’s preferred, but not impossible to get that job. Join OBAP,start doing some flying. Make some connections. your flight deck seat is waiting for you all you have to do is claim it.

    Tahirah says:

    Thank you for responding. Continue to pursue your dreams ! A college degree would be a necessary step towards this goal. Figure a way with online courses and work or dive right in. Don’t let age be a hindrance.

    Alicia Wright, Ph.D. says:

    Dear Captain:
    I am a USMC Combat Veteran, served honourably for eight years, tours in Kuwait and Iraq. Many people scoffed at my ambition to join the Corps, because in part, the Corps truly did not want women. The Corps did much to discourage me, without success. I prevailed and PROVED beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I BELONGED THERE. Your journey reminds me of my own struggle, and it literally brought tears to the eyes of this hardened, combat,veteran, tears of immense JOY. You are ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC, and I salute you. GO CAPTAIN, GO❗❗

    FLTDECK says:

    I am a 61 year old navy vet who love aviation. Recently got my A.S. Degree in G.Ed plan to begin flight training next month at a small Airport in West Memphis AR. Mrs.Brown story has encourage me to do my best to achieve my dream of becoming a pilot even at my age.

    AT says:

    you can go to college and still fly for about 30 to 35 more years. Go for it! Just got my degree at 38 years old!!!!

    Stephania Duplechin Jackson RN MSN says:

    It is never ever too late to go back to school! I’m living proof of that and I’m back in school and working till the day I die! Never ever give up on the life you want to live. Sally forth with your head held high!

    Dane Clark says:

    I love her story her sacrifice and hard work determination most of all her honesty how she accomplished her goals. I’m proud of you too.

    Tahirah says:

    I appreciate your comment.

    Thank you!

    Bahijah says:

    Congratulations!!! I am so proud of you cousin and happy for you.
    I love you so much Cuz!!!

    Azariyah Benyisrael Black says:

    I remember you speaking about this adventure of yours like it was yesterday, and I thought to my self “this girl must be crazy” LoL, Now you are the inspiration and icon to millions of black women and girls in the world, words can’t explain how proud I am of you, and I feel privileged to know you, love you sis keep up the good work.

    Lakhena says:

    What a tear jerker. I love stories like these. What I take from this is Hard work, creativity, determination and mentorship….And God is what got you where you are. Amazing work! You’ve inspired me!

    Linda Hinton says:

    Congratulations to your daughter Ms. Brown. I will be praying for her.i’m proud of her as well.

    Les Woodward says:

    Congratulations for raising such a great daughter!

    Alton says:

    When you are hired by Fed X as a pilot you are simply one of the best or you don’t make the cut. No brag just facts it don’t get no better than Fed X .

    Hazel Swift says:

    I am trying to see if you are related to me. Several of things that made me take notice. I have a niece named Linda Brown whose father was my brother and his name was French LaMont Brown. My maiden name is also Brown. We originated in Tyler, TX. However, my brother moved his family to Omaho, NE in the late 50’s. His second daughter was named Linda Jean. I also do my best to keep up our Family Tree. I congratulate Tahirah whether she’s related or not. It is wonderful to see good news about our people any day and anytime. Thanks

    Kathy McCreedy Hall says:

    What an incredibly loving comment! It’s easy to see your daughter-in-love is a very special beautiful woman! (I’m stealing your title for her!) ❤️

    Michele Persten says:

    Tahirah is an amazing woman, Pilot, and friend. Such a unique woman in all aspects. Truly lucky to have her in our lives.

    Wayne and Emma La Mont says:

    Tahirah
    We’re so very thankful to GOD. Very very proud of you and your accomplishments, we know it was a struggle, trials and tribulations, but you didn’t give up you were determined. You have our Love and always our support. May GOD continue to bless you and the family, Keep GOD Faith and Love Always.
    Your Loving Parents.

    Tamika bell says:

    Am very proud of you cousin keep up the good work

    Tahirah says:

    Thank you !

    Beverly Hyter says:

    Tahirah is an beautiful young lady, I am so proud of all she has accomplished in her flying career and happy that I was able to be a part of her decision to become a pilot for FedEx.
    Love you, Captain Brown.

    Siddhant Mohan says:

    First of all i would like to congratulate you for your success (Tahriah Brown). Your story of hard work and continuous struggle becomes a live motivation and inspirational story to the youth . Finally i will say that Hard Work PAYS OFF

    Melvin Stewart says:

    Very inspiring story my heart was touched and I pray that God would continue to bless her on journey and that her story will be a blessing to many other.

    Emmanuella Elrod says:

    Thank you so much for articles like these. I really enjoyed reading it. I am so proud to work for an employer that highlights the accomplishments of African Americans and Women. So inspiring!!

    Wayne Anselmo says:

    I had the opportunity to fly with Tahirah while at Great Lakes Airlines. I’m happy to see her getting the spotlight on her journey. I knew back then that she would go far!

    Angela Douglas says:

    Yes!! A great story of perseverance and determination. Makes me proud.

    Erin Gormley says:

    Outstanding! Great to see hard work, dedication, and investment, lead to success and paying it forward to help other achieve their dreams. Kudos Tahirah!

    Alexis Pinchback Cooper says:

    As a former Flight Operations Admninistator, I truly understand what this young lady has been through! I applaud you Captain Tahirah Brown! We truly need more groundbreakers like you. May God continue to bless you on your journey. Also kudos to OBAP! They’ve been doing great things quietly for years!!

    Keith Buckner says:

    Congratulations Captain Brown! As a retired FAA Air Traffic Supervisor, I can appreciate all the hard work, dedication, and perseverance that went into your success. As an OBAP partner, I was happy to hear how OBAP has been a vital part of the process.

    Cuthbert benjamin/. says:

    A/c Aviation lead, To captain Brown well come a board to the Fedex family as the fist Black woman pilot god bless always Benji

    Juanita A. says:

    This story touched my soul. I just love hearing and seeing my #Fly_Sisters do it big! I’m a single mom of 2 teen sons but I have not allowed “Life” to stop my dreams. It just merely put them on pause. I’m also a member of OBAP and on my journey to becoming a private pilot. Tahirah you motivate me more than you may ever know and I want to thank you. It’s hard. Very hard, maintaining my home, the boys, work and trying to pay for flight training but I WILL NOT give up. I hope to meet you at the 2018 OBAP Conference. Blessings and Blue Skies my dear. Signed Your 2nd in Command

    Tahirah says:

    Thank you ! I’ll look for you at OBAP.

    Angela Sherzer says:

    As a retired MD11 Captain for FedEx, I am so proud of this young lady for breaking yet another barrier! Congratulations, Captain Brown!

    Sean Mally Manwaring says:

    TAHIRAH FATIMA
    I never forget the time we use to talk about what you wanted to do.You said you are going to be a pilot. When you called me to tell me how you was flying I said you go Tahirah handle your business. The following year you tell me you flying with FedEx I said to myself that is my pilot. Everytime I see a FedEx plane I think of you. CONGRATULATIONS
    FATIMA FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMALE FedEx PILOT

    Bonnie Fells says:

    Bravo Zulu to Captain Brown! What a fabulous role model for young girls. The sky is the limit if you choose it. I appreciate the diversity of FedEx and as a retired employee, I was always proud of that fact.

    Tahirah says:

    Thank you !

    Lois Johnson says:

    BZ to you and your spirit to reach back and remember your roots!

    Danielle Mitchell says:

    My Motivation!!!

    Summer Cox says:

    I love your story, I wish I would have continued in aviation. I still love flying. By reading your story I may just go back. Thanks for being a positive role model.

    Tahirah says:

    Flying is bug that’s hard to shake. Give it another try!

    Stacy Carson says:

    Tahaira ..my childhood friend ..you were always dedicated and strong willed and committed during our childhood ..i am so very very proud of u..u are inspiring young women and minorities across the world..love ya

    Rhonda Bassett says:

    What an update on your success! We read about you, but so nice to hear all that you have done! You are truly a role model…I take my hat off to you…FedEx thanks for recognizing her!

    Ray burkett says:

    Im proud and honored to know you and David. We all came up together and though we work for different carriers we are the same. Congrats love.

    Fred Williams says:

    Outstanding!!

    Fernando Carreon says:

    Congratulatons Tahira, my daughter just started the Comercial Pilot Career in a very good school. And she is a woman and latin. We are working trying to get the financial aids. You are an inspiration. I am forwarding this article to her. Thank you.

    Lorne Jordan says:

    I have read that Fed Ex only hires the best A+++ level aviators. WELL DONE Captain!

    Steve Roby says:

    Captain Brown, congradulations. I’m retired serving22 yrs with Fedex along with 24 yrs Air Force/Airfirce Reserve I am so glad you took advantage of the opportunity to become an aviator and your job behind the scenes as well. It’s encouraging as a Fedex retiree to know we have fantastic human beings such as yourself to continue to lead and grow this great company we are associated with.
    Your story reminds me of another hero of mine while serving in the Air Force and that is of Condalezza Rice. She is one of my favorite people in life now I have to put you on the same pedestals her. Continued success in your life, keep her horizontal in flight. Best Regards. Steve Roby

    Charles Miller says:

    I have been working for FedEx for thirty plus years. In all of that time I had never encountered a Black Female Pilot. However, October 2017, I met Tahirah for the first time on a flight from Pittsburgh to Memphis. I can’t tell you the joy my heart felt when I laid eyes on her. We had a chance to talk for minute. I told her how proud I was just being in her presence. She was an image I had always hope to see but never did for all those years. So after meeting her, I sent her an email reiterating what I had said to her in person. Kind as she is, she sends me her ‘I Am FedEx’ photo. So a couple of months later I get a phone from a guy name Michael asking if I know her. I said yes and he goes on to say that he’s doing a story on her for the magazine ‘Women in Aviation’. He asked her if there was someone in Memphis she wanted to reach out to while she was here doing her photo shoot. She says yes, Charles Miller. I was just floored she thought enough of me to share her spotlight. Long story short, she is phenomenal as a person just as she is tremendously talented as a Pilot.

    Keyon Brown says:

    Congratulations Tahirah, I am currently a courier with FedEx Express of 3 years. I start my commercial pilot program this summer 2018. I am so excited to start a new chapter in my FedEx career, becoming a FedEx pilot. Reading your story has given me so much inspiration and motivation. No matter what challenges I encounter I know that if you overcame them so can I. I’d love to hear more about your story if possible can we connect via email keyonbrown92@gmail.com I look forward to hearing from you.

    Essie D Watkins says:

    Congratulations, Tahirah on your many accomplishments! As a 27 year employee and now an 11 1/2 year retiree of FedEx,so proud of the legacy you have started! #GoFedex! #GoTahira!!

    Vanessa mckenzie harris says:

    Congratulations, this is my cousin and I’m so proud of what she has accomplished!!!!love you…

    Joy B says:

    I’m so proud of you, Tahirah! You just inspired me to reach for the stars!

    Vache Alexanian says:

    Congratulations Well Done Tahirah So Proud of you could not have happen to a better person. Thank you for all your volunteer work at Women in Aviation and OBAP. I am very proud to call you a friend and flown with you at Great Lakes. May God always bless you and your family.

    Charlotte Turner says:

    I so love your story so inspirational and to become the first female black pilot for Fedex is truly awesome.. Continued blessings upon your life.. God bless you young lady..

    Marco says:

    Tahira is such a great person overall! I know her by having her daughter as my student, and even when she isn’t being the role of an amazing pilot she still executes hard work and inspiration. She has a light to her and is very humble and sweet. I see it frequently with her and the outcome of her daughter.

    Adrian Hunt says:

    Awesome article! I would love to meet you one day Mrs Tahirah!!!

    Stanley Zimblatt says:

    Nice article; however, if you’re going to feature somebody and their accomplishments, shouldn’t you make sure there are no typos?

    Anitra D. Keys says:

    As a fellow FedEx employee and an African-American woman, this makes me extremely proud. Congratulations Captain Brown and thank you for inspiring others by sharing your story.

    The LaMont "Florida" Tribe says:

    Congratulations Cuz!

    Overwhelmed with excitement and happiness for you and your accomplishments.

    Brings back memories of all the model airplanes you had in your room when we were growing up. You are AMAZING!

    We can’t wait to share with lil Isaiah. His fascinated with planes and would like to be a pilot. I’m confident this will inspire him more.

    We love you…GOD Bless!

    Dexter, Shannon, Isaiah & Kaelym

    ELLEN MENDELSON says:

    I’M VERY PROUD OF YOU.I WAS THE FIRST FEMALE FULL TIME COURIER AT MY FEDEX STATION AS FAR AS I KNOW OR CAN REMEMBER.(THERE WAS A P/T FEMALE THE SUMMER BEFORE ME.)MY FEDEX JOB WAS NOTHING COMPARED TO YOU BUT LIKE YOU HAVE STATED IT WAS A MANS WORLD.I WENT THROUGH SOME REAL STUFF TO TRY AND CHANGE THAT FOR FEMALES.U GO GIRL!!!!

    Dawud & Aliya Amin says:

    Congratulations Niece!!!!
    We’re extremely proud of you!
    We Pray that God will continue to Bless You in all your endeavors. Looking forward to seeing you in the near future.
    Love You!!
    Uncle Dawud and Aunt Aliya

    Shan D says:

    What an inspiration,I’m happy you followed your dreams and nothing got in your way!!!

    Jody Oyen says:

    Thank you for sharing your story Tahirah! You write so beautifully, and you are an inspiration! Keep flying, and keep writing!

    Denise says:

    Extremely Inspiring, thank you for sharing your story and Congratulations!

    Jerry Page says:

    A great story and so inspiring! Thanks for sharing.

    George Jones says:

    Your story is very inspiring, and I am glad that you shared it with us.

    Audrey Anderson says:

    WOW, What an Awesome Journey! I can’t wait to share with the young people at my church. I look for stories like these to share with others. I am so proud of you!!!!! Thanks for writing this story!

    Lyn says:

    Very inspirational! Thank you for sharing your story.

    Dennis McLaurin says:

    Congrats Tahirah, it has been a honor and a privilege to see your career grow at FEDEX. I remember how epic it was to see you as a engineer on the 727-200 airframes, I said wow Tahirah
    has a awesome gift. Years later you walked into PHL ramp office in a captains uniform, I was so elated for you. You’re a major role model.

    Dawn Bess says:

    This is another great example for young ladies (black/white/brown) to encourage them that they can do anything if they are determined. I love working for FedEx and will definitely share this story with my granddaughters and nieces. We are all very proud of you Tahirah!!

    Beverly Hibbler says:

    I think this is a wonderful story. This young lady is WONDERFUL,I have been at Federal Express for 38 years, I am so glad she came to Federal Express, hopefully is will open up more door for all woman color.

    Tracey Calland says:

    Very proud of Capt. Brown, I decided to go back to school at the ripe old age of 52 to pursue my career in Aviation Mechanics. You’re never too old or too young to learn. I wish her every success, and hope to see her one day here at LAX/HVMX. God speed!

    Roberta Matthews says:

    YESSSSSSS!

    Janas Jackson says:

    Captain Brown is indeed a tower of inspiration to people of all ages. She had a dream and worked hard to fulfill it. May she continue to soar!

    Valencia McCowan says:

    I love hearing all the testimonies. with a made up mind to continue to persevere, dreams do come true !!!

    Mpumelelo Dzowa says:

    Congratulations, you are awesome and a role model for us all. A true testament to the opportunities and open doors at FedEx.

    Jacqueline Watson says:

    Thank you for such a wonderful story FedEx.Captain Brown much success in your life. I will pass this story along to others.

    Bre says:

    This is so awesome I am very touched by it! I hope the rest of your career brings you more and more success.

    Wayne Lamont says:

    Wow its AMAZING being able to have a role model like this in the African-American community.This shows that hard work truly pays off even if you are faced with hardship you can still overcome and succeed.

    Ramona Davie says:

    Congratulations Captain Brown. I am so very proud of you and inspired by the path that you chose to take and what you accomplished by doing so. You are my SHERO. God Bless You

    Burbank Ramp Crew says:

    What a great story! Tahirah Brown was the first officer on many departures from Burbank, California. The entire ramp is very happy she achieved her goal of Captain. We wish her the very best! We look forward to seeing her again when she flies into BUR.

    Sheldon LaMont says:

    Congratulations on all your accomplishments in life. This is such a truly inspiring story that I would love to share with my daughters. To inspire them that in life your goals can be achieved. So proud of you Captain Brown!
    Love your New York Cousins, Sheldon, Angela, Victoria, Jayda & Lillyanna LaMont

    b says:

    You ROCK, Ms T.what inspiration especially for Black History Month, not only for little black girls n boys..for the human race..As I watch the sky.. now…I will think of you…BRAVO ZULU…GOD SPEED…

    CONTESSA DICKSON says:

    Great Story, extremely PROUD of YOU keep up the fantastic Job.

    Mischelle Kelley says:

    “Hope Floats”…..even in the sky! This story melts my heart, and bring tears to my eyes. This is 2018 and we’re just hearing about her. Imagine if this story would have come out in 2002, 2003….and maybe, just maybe more people of color would have been encouraged to become a pilot…and maybe, just maybe we would be talking about a 4th, 5th, or even 6th pilot of color. her perseverance is remarkable. I Love This Story. I want to hear more, and more often.

    Chantae says:

    Congratulations on your success!

    Tarshia Wilson says:

    This was a very inspiring story of courage, dedication, and determination! I proudly share her story to motivate and encourage others!!! I’m very proud of your accomplishments!

    Congratulations Captain Tahirah Brown!

    Lynn R Olds says:

    What a wonderful story. May God bless you and enable you to reach higher heights. You are a great inspiration!

    Reginald Gee says:

    Congratulations on you hard work and dedication to your craft. Keep up the good work, I love your story and look forward to hearing more from you. May the wind be at your back

    Helen Summers says:

    Tahirah,

    So proud of you!!! I mentor young African American girls. Your story will definitely be shared.

    Paige Marshall says:

    Tahirah Brown is an inspiration to everyone to keep pursuing their dreams. You are truly amazing! Thank you and Bravo Zulu to you, Captain Brown!

    Robin Jones says:

    Congratulations young lady. You are an inspiration to my myself and all African Americans. Keep up the good work.

    Clovis Jones, Jr. says:

    Tahirah, I am very proud of you and the accomplishments you have achieved as a pilot, Line Check Airman, wife, mother, and wonderful human being!!! As a retired FedEx Express Captain and former President of OBAP I have witness your progression over the years for the brilliant, young aspiring pilot to the stellar professional aviator you have become. Keep up the great work!!!
    Again, I’m very proud of you, and congratulations!!!
    Safe Travels!!!

    Terri says:

    You are amazing! I’m truly inspired by your determination and story, continue to be the voice to those who look to your mentoring. I look forward to many more African American Women to join you in the skies. Congratulations!

    Mj Hall says:

    Very inspiring. FedEx is lucky to have such a special individual on the team!

    Reginald Shaw says:

    What an awesome journey that continues…obviously the sky is the limit! Thanks for sharing!

    Betty says:

    Never stop DREAMING, always be the difference you want to see. Unfortunately skin tone is recognized before skills. Keep dreaming – one day that will change also. Keep flying, making FedEx proud! Bessie Coleman is giving you a standing ovation. Live her dream!

    Tamika bell says:

    Congratulations cousin love you

    Mike Williams says:

    Great story.
    I started in the industry in 1980, and quickly learned that professional aviation people are a special breed. To most of us, aviation is not a job, but a vocation. Your article is a testament to that.

    I would love to meet you someday.

    Warren Hopson says:

    Congratulations on a continued job well done and on telling your story well! Very proud of you T! Also praying for your inspiration to bring many more highly talented and motivated persons to the FedEx family. Fly Right! Hop

    Douglas Burress says:

    Congrats on a job well done. Keep you eye on the prize. Keep doing what you do. Your story and accomplishments are a great thing to hear about.

    Mychael Turner says:

    Congratulations on your success! You are an inspiration to many. We are all so proud! Bless your heart! ❤️

    Roberto Arreozola says:

    Cpngratulations Tahirah.
    I FEEL PROUDLY OF BE PART OF THIS COMPANY. .For people like you.

    FREDDIE FALKNER says:

    From day one of your entering FedEx and helping you find your way, Sis you have made me PROUD to know you. Keep up the good work and as I have said you are a *History Maker*. We hope to see you all soon.
    MUCH LOVE

    Billie Underwood says:

    Congratulations on a job well done you go girl.

    William Clark III says:

    Iam so happy for you Iam a Vietnam Vet, And I know what it feels like to won’t something and go after it. Please stay motivated and don’t look back.

    Toni Woods says:

    William, thank you for your service. This must make you feel so proud.

    Joe DiJanni says:

    I have met Tahirah in ops. What an inspiration to all for her accomplishments. I will tell my daughters about her journey to let them know the sky is the no longer the limit it can be the starting point too. Congratulations Tahirah you are an excellent role model to all.

    Stephanie Benton says:

    If I’m not mistaken this looks like the same young lady that I went to school with at S.U.N.Y Farmingdale Collge in New York.. We lived in the same dorm there her freshman year.. She was a true scholar there and she always had a great spirit as well as prescence.. I always knew there was something unique about her. Congratulations to you Tahirah!! You have set the bar by far.. Best wishes to In your continued success..

    Tahirah says:

    Thank you for the wonderful comments Stephanie.

    Roger Phillip says:

    Congratulations my friend, so proud to know you 20yrs now from the days of college to see you accomplish your goals. Love you my dear friend.

    Tahirah says:

    Thank you Roger !
    Much love

    Lisa Hibbert says:

    I am very proud of you as a person, and all of your accomplishments. Go Girl!!!!!:)

    Lisa

    Delcena Bell says:

    Congratulations baby girl. I’m so proud of the woman you have become. Keep God first and know that with him you can conquer anything. Love you and keep up the good work.

    Nita Mckay says:

    Your story gives a new meaning to
    “The sky is the limit” You have inspired me to keep reaching!

    Larry Ostrow says:

    What a wonderful accomplishment and story! God bless!

    Anon says:

    You got onto me a few months ago about my marshalling in LA. Little did you know it was actually my 1st time and I was being trained. But I learned from the experience and was proud to have a Black Female Pilot doing the honors. lol Wow, I’m even more honored now! Congrats

    Toni Woods says:

    Tahirah, You’re story is such an inspiration to anyone and everyone that aspires to reach their goals. While I don’t know you personally, I am so very proud of what you have accomplished and all the best to come for you. Thank you for paving the way a little wider for all.

    Juan Williams says:

    Simply awesome. I will share with my nieces and nephews.

    Steve H. says:

    Tahira,
    Thank you for sharing your story! Very inspirational. I really have no desire to pilot a plane, but I have been maintaining the FedEx fleet here at KOAK for 17 years now. I can say, FedEx does have the most dedicated and professional team I have ever had the pleasure to work with next to the 20 years I spent in the United States Air Force.
    As for never giving up on your goals, I have a BA in Management I earned at the age of 46 while working full time for FedEx. It was a personal goal and I feel I am a stronger person from it.
    Please continue the inspirational journey and mentoring those women of any ethnicity who have a dream! The only thing holding them back is themselves! Ethnicity, gender or age should never be considered a stumbling block to an achievable dream.
    I hope one day I have the honor of meeting you as you transit Oakland.

    Steve H.

    Lesley says:

    Very inspirational article! I took a semester for private pilot 2 yrs ago but lacked the confidence to continue especially at 30 now. Mrs. Brown your kind words to the flight attendant and this article just reassured me of my opportunities. Thank you!

    SharonAGore says:

    Congratulations to you Captain Tahirah Brown!!!

    This is a HUGE accomplishment based on the many obstacles you had to endure. BUT GOD!!! He is so faithful and promises to give us the desires of our hearts if those desires align themselves with His will. It is evident that what you have accomplished for yourself was not a selfish move, at all, in that you have touched the lives of many inspiring and encouraging them to go after their dreams, as well.

    There is a scripture in St. Luke 22:32 that says, “…and when you are converted, strengthen your brother (or sister).”

    I posted your amazing journey and WIN on FB and also shared it with my 15 year old granddaughter so that she could see and appreciate a young woman that looks like her!!! May God bless you and your parents!!!

    Mark Luttmann says:

    Your story is triumphant! Thank you for all that you do for the company 🙂

    Nylah says:

    Your The Best Mom! Love You!!

    Angela J. Nealy, M.S. says:

    Captain Brown
    Congratulations! I love the opportunity to meet you

    Michael Finley says:

    Awesome story…..I hope to meet you one day out on the flight-line. Good luck to you!

    So proud of you!
    Mike!
    ATL STORES

    Gloria Lamont says:

    Go ahead girl that’s my baby. That said the sky is the limit and oops there it is! Love you proud of you and may God forever bless you.
    Love, Aunt Azizah

    Sheena says:

    Tahirah Brown, I don’t know you because I’m far away in another state, but you are a good inspiration for all the young black females out there who wants to follow in your foot step. Congrats to you and I’m proud.

    S. Lee Smith says:

    An awesome testimony!:-D OBAP is an excellent organization! “May the wind be at our backs!”
    S.Lee Smith
    FedEx A/C MX
    Proud to be an AMT!

    Crystal Smith says:

    Wow, this is my 31st year with the company, I have jumpseated many times on company business and I have had the pleasure of meeting several FedEx pilots. I hope one day to me you, Tahirah Brown too! Thank you for sharing your story and being an inspiration to so many.

    Aunt Linda, Rashid, Wayde & Yusef says:

    We are so proud of you. Its amazing to see you living your dream. I can remember you as a child saying you wanted to be a pilot. You’re an inspiration to all women and young girls aspiring to soar. May God bless you in all of your endeavors. WE LOVE YOU!

    Kathy Shepherd says:

    I had the desire to become a pilot when I first worked at Boeing in Wichita Kansas in the late 70’s, I was ready to sign up for flight classes, then unfortunately however fortunate, I moved to Texas and no longer worked for boeing with that opportunity, now reading your story only suggest I wish I had that opportunity to have followed that desire. I admire and am grateful to hear your story, many blessings to you Mrs Brown.

    Missy Baker says:

    As I read this I couldn’t help but smile. You are encouraging, inspiring, and motivational to me as a young black woman that grew up in poverty but still wants to achieve my goal as being a doctor one day. You are so right about what you said about not letting negative attitudes affect you and your goals. I’m still learning myself, and learning how to not let my past nor the negativity in others stop me from being the very best I can be. I’m so proud of you and all of your accomplishments, I really wish one day I could have the blessing of meeting you one day. Keep shining!

    Denitra Brown says:

    Ms. Brown, I am so excited to see you have stepped into your purpose. You have and will continue to affect change in your community and around the world. Be strong & very courageous as this is only the beginning of your destiny. Can’t wait to see the next great things come from you!

    Michael Rone says:

    This has made my day as I read your story from the FedEx home page. I’ve always been amazed by the gift of flight all my life. My son ever since he was six and is now ten has been infatuated too with aviation. He will sit and watch flight videos all the time on his iPad on YouTube. He’ll watch take-offs, landings, simulators, cause of crashes, the types of planes, and this list goes on. We plan to get him his first flight lesson at age thirteen. We’re a multicultural family and my wife and I are proud to share both sides of our cultures with our children. I’ll be printing off you’re article and reading it to the family at the dinner table this evening! It’s a HONOR to read such an article as yours. All I can say is BRAVO and look at GOD WORK!
    GOD BLESS to the FedEx Family

    Priscilla says:

    Congratulations on your success!

    Tim J. says:

    What a great story and you are a great inspiration to us all. Keep up the great work of being a wonderful role model and encouraging us all to reach for the stars!

    Donna M. says:

    Dearest Tahirah, your story is a beautiful one. I have a granddaughter who at 4 years loves everything that says Fedex. At 5yrs old she said she wants to Fly a FedEx plane. I told her sure you can.
    On February 15, my granddaughter turned 6 years and I am showing her your picture, and sharing your story with her. Boy, did she have a lot of questions.
    One thing I wish for, is to have a signed photo of you Tahirah for my granddaughter.

    Thanks

    Donna M.

    Sharon B Williams says:

    Congratulations and Thanks for being an inspirations to our blacks girls, they rock and so do you!!!

    Alvin Jimenez says:

    Thank you for sharing your story!

    Teresa says:

    A role model for all women!
    Thank you

    Nicole Whitset says:

    This is probably the best story I’ve read in a while and what amazes me most is Ms. Brown was so humble in her journey to being successful. As, the song goes,”You can win as long as you keep your head to the sky!” God bless you!

    Dorothy Cole says:

    You are an amazing Woman. I was filled with so much Positive Energy while reading about your journey. I hope to travel with you one day and let you know that I’m a fan and will share your story. Thanks FedEx and all your Mentors, Advocates, Coaches and Sponsors. May God continue to keep you in Perfect Peace!! DC

    Carlos J. says:

    What an inspiration!!!

    Renita says:

    Great inspiration for all. Our African American children can conquer the world. My 16 year old son goal is to become a pilot. I am sharing your story with him. Thanks

    Lisa Dandridge says:

    What a wonderful article!!! I love Mrs. Brown’s determination to live out her dream and to pass it on to others.

    Joyous Montgomery says:

    Congratulations Tahirah, thanks for sharing your story, which truly epitomizes what hard work and determination can accomplish. Continue to trust God as you continue to strive to be the best at what you do. Blessings to you and your family.

    Mary Doby says:

    Beauty story and beauty young lady. Congratulations and keep on trucking. LOL

    christina says:

    Super congratulations to you on your achievement!! May God always keep you safe in the air.

    Rosie says:

    What a wonderful story! You are a inspiration to all women who think out the box. I wish for you, only blue skies!

    Denise Ross says:

    Congratulations Tahirah and thank you for being an inspiration to young women especially women of color. #blackgirlsrock

    Destry says:

    Hey T! So amazing that I lived a part of this with you! Very proud. Destry

    Elizabeth Diane Davis says:

    Congratulations keep up the good work. God bless you the sky is definitely the limit

    Jean Williams says:

    Extremely Proud and Overjoyed for you and those you set out to encourage to become Extraordinary as you yourself are.

    Billie Underwood says:

    Congratulations and best wishes for a job well done.

    Patrick Ryan says:

    Very inspirational and awesome story.
    Very proud and happy for you.
    If you are inclined to contact me – I would like to speak to you about some things.

    Teria Seales says:

    You go young lady✊✊✊✊✊✊.. Wow what a story.. I was reading and imagining at the same time…. That’s real faith right there.. As long as you believe you will achieve

    Mikasha Dye says:

    Thank you for the inspiration. I have been struggling to become a pilot for 6 years but this helps me to continue on!

    Spencer Evans says:

    Congratulations on your story and your most successful career. Truly an inspiration for today’s youth. Maybe, I’ll catch you on one of my business Jumpseat’s. It would be a Greta honor to meet you.

    LaTalia Chambers says:

    Airman Tahirah Lamont , Big Congratulations!! Thanks for achieving such greatness and for paving the way for many brown girls. As I embark on my career journey, I will definitely consider careers with FedEX as a soon graduate student.

    Thanks,
    God Bless You!

    Jose Estevez says:

    Congratulations from the PHXR ramp. You are awesome. You accomplished all this with great character and grace. It has been for us a pleasure to know you and your family.

    Shirljean powell says:

    Go after ur dream u deserved every bit of it Make the world proud of u !!!! Bravo. Hard work would be pay off!!

    Keiichi Minami Junior says:

    I will use this story to inspire my kids: everything is possible when you believe it is. Congrats Tahira. I am from Brazil and I would like to see people acting like you here. Makes the difference!

    Y. Allen says:

    So proud of you and your accomplishment! You are a beautiful role model for African Americans! I appreciate your strength and perseverance. I know this was not an easy venture, but you made it, and made it well! God bless and protect you, always. -Yoko

    Cyntia Reed says:

    Congratulations! What a major accomplishment and you broke the glass for all the young girls that look like you. Tahirah you rock and you that Girl with Beauty and Brains!!!This is Black History.

    GLORIA A HALL says:

    Tahirah I’m so proud of you

    Darien Francis says:

    Congrats. Your story is inspiring

    Winday Davis says:

    Bravo Zulu to you…Keep flying high!!!
    Be Blessed

    Alice Taylor says:

    I am personally proud of your accomplishments. As grand parent I constantly try to inspire my grand daughter to aspire , and invest in her dream with education,preparation, prayer and hard work. The reward is immeasurable . Thank you for the inspiration. God Bless You!
    #proudgranny

    Bill Norwood says:

    Enjoyed the article about Tahirah Lamont Brown. I am very proud of her accomplishments. Also congratulations to Albert Glenn. Best wishes to both Tahirah and Albert.

    Bill Norwood

    Donna Davis says:

    Congratulations! Very inspiring!

    Latara Haynes says:

    Congratulations Captain Brown. Now that you’ve kicked in the door, the many who come after you will have it that much easier. Your awesome and awe-inspiring!

    Que'onna Brooks says:

    What an amazing and inspiring story! God continue to bless you!!!!

    Dennis Williams says:

    Thank you Captain Tahirah Brown for reminding all of us to keep the dream.

    Dona Morgan says:

    An Amazing Story. What an accomplishment! Thanks for sharing.

    Eliza Denise Royal says:

    Ms. Lamont-Brown: I appreciate you sharing your story/testimony. I was inspired today, as I work on professional/personal goals. I would love to get an associates degree in transportation and logistics. I admire your hard work and willingness to mentor others.

    Dr. Yolanda "Yogi" Champagne-Bland says:

    Congrats Tihirah! I am very proud of you. When you were at Farmingdale you always said you were going to be a Pilot. I’m so happy you stayed true to what you were born to do. Continue soar as you fly high. Look me up if you are ever in SC.
    Congrats Again Dr. Yolanda “Yogi” Champagne-Bland

    david edmonds says:

    what a wonderful story!!

    Mike Plarski says:

    That is an awesome story. Proof that , even though the story centers on her gender and race, it doesn’t matter what you’re stamped with. If you’re gonna be a pilot, a writer or a Rock Star, you know you have what it takes and you’ve already made it before you even took off!

    Yolande D. says:

    When I first saw the announcement of the the first female African-American pilot for FedEx, I felt so happy for you….words can’t express, even to this day…..keep up the good works and encouragement…Blessings to you and your family….

    Antonia says:

    I’m going to share your story to my African ladies in Middle East and S America. As I always say: “Brain doesn’t have gender and color”. Congratulations for making us, ladies, very proud.

    Rev DR Rosetta Oneal in Det MI says:

    I am an associate Minster in Det MI and heard about you through my son who works security for FedEx at metro I was overwhelmed,w3hat a victorious accomplishment!!! May GODs riches blessings be with you wherever you fly in this world I would love to contact you for our church youth .

    ismaila bojang says:

    you are the best sis, I love you and may God bless you.

    Gerard Mazza says:

    Having had aspirations in high school of going to the Air Force Academy, but never being able to apply due to poor vision, your story was very meaningful to me. It is so wonderful to see people achieve their dreams in aviation. I went into the medical field and eventually obtained my private, instrument, and mulit-engine ratings and have been flying for over 30 years. Thank you for your inspiring story.

    Ken says:

    Dear Captain Tahirah; congrats and high fives! You remind me of my sister Karen who loved flying so much that she joined the Army, became one of the first female Helicopter instructors at Fort Rucker, Alabama. She went on to become a Lueutanant Colnel, Chief of Briefings for the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. At her Retirement in the Hall of Heroes in the Pentagon she received a letter from President Bush and the Flag that flew over the Capital. Today she is a Vetinarian.Along with flying Black Hawk Helicopter’s she also flew the F-15, we are so proud of her. Her son is a Major, the head of the new Space Op’s Program. I plan to tell her about you. Blessings to you and your wonderful family, Ken

    Joe Mangin says:

    I would rather have lunch with you than any “celebrity” in the world. Had chased angels and avoided vultures,5000 + hours before having to give it up. It was a lot easier for me a a young white male back in the early 80’s and it was still difficult. You restored this old man’s faith in the human race.

    Amsta says:

    Very inspirational story! Kudos to you!

    DC Campbell says:

    How many of us have dreams to fly, but never do? You did it. Your example is a great teacher in how to follow your dreams to its fulfillment! Awesome!!

    O. Williams says:

    Job well done!!!

    Lou Mendez says:

    Dr Wright, not to get off the subject, but when you say as a woman, the Marine Corp tried to discourage you from becoming a Marine…wouldn’t you agree, that was part of the process in general, if you are a man or woman, the Corps will make you prove to them you have what it takes to be a Marine, especially facing the Crucible either in San Diego or Paris Island…!

    Will says:

    Im so proud to hear these tupe of stories. I slso worked at Fedex years ago. Make sure you look up Captain Drew Brown, Fedex Pilot who i was stationed with in the Navy, he can impart a ton of wisdom and continue to hrlp you successfully on your journey. Congrats!

    Mike Elkas says:

    You go girl!!! I wish you a lifetime of happiness doing what you love to do and were meant to do! Pass it forward too whenever you can!

    William Haberlin says:

    You are truly an inspiration to all young women. Your story demonstrates how hard work and determination can bring success. If you were my daughter, I would be extremely proud of you.

    Casey Grant says:

    This is so inspiring, congratulations! I would love to interview you on my radio show, The Fly Girl on BlogTalkRadio. I was one of the first black FA for Delta and have told our journey in my award-winning book, Stars in the Sky. Please contact me
    Casey Grant

    Thomas Manning says:

    I’m proud of you too; very uplifting well-written story thank you

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