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American Airlines recognizes Black History Month as an opportunity to celebrate the contributions Black Americans have made to U.S. history and culture.
The airline is hosting numerous events and initiatives in the air, on the ground and in our communities to celebrate Black History Month.
American understands 28 days is not enough to celebrate the achievements of Black Americans. The airline is proud to take this time to reflect on the strides American has made in better serving Black team members and customers year-round. In 2022, customers will experience more representation throughout their travel journey. American’s products and services such as Flagship Lounges, inflight dining and entertainment offerings will aim to better connect with Black travelers.
In the air
- For more than 20 years, American has sponsored the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), which recognizes Black talent and showcases quality film and television content by and about people of color in the entertainment industry. Customers can now tune into the "American Black Film Festival” channel via American’s inflight entertainment. The short film and documentary channel launches in February with four films — Postmate, Not Just a Name, Code Switch and Descended from The Promised Land: The legacy of Black Wall Street — and will continue to add more films throughout the year.
- Additionally, American will feature a Black History Month inflight entertainment channel, curated by the airline’s Black Professional Network (BPN) Employee Business Resource Group (EBRG) that pays tribute to timeless Black films and television shows that shape culture and enhance American cinema, including: Selma, Moonlight, The Princess and the Frog, Black-ish: Season 7, among many more. All inflight entertainment on American is free for customers to enjoy.
- Our domestic first-class dining experience features new, delicious offerings from brands rooted in diversity. Among the offerings are Partake, a Black-owned offering in the domestic first-class snack baskets. Partake’s founder, Denise Woodard, created the brand to make eating and sharing deliciously worry-free for those with and without food allergies.
On the ground
- American is collaborating with celebrated chefs like Tiffany Derry to create menu offerings for the Flagship Lounge and Flagship First Dining at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. The Top Chef fan favorite will create American customers menu items with a high-end twist to her family’s classic southern recipes. This program is in partnership with the James Beard Foundation, an organization with a mission to celebrate, support and elevate the people behind America’s food culture and champion a standard of good food anchored in talent, equity and sustainability.
- Also available in Flagship First Dining, most Flagship Lounges and in Admirals Club Lounges this Summer is a new and emerging whiskey in the spirits industry: Uncle Nearest 1865 Premium Whiskey. The brand honors Nathan “Nearest” Green, a former slave, who’s credited for teaching Jack Daniel how to distill whiskey. He became the head distiller at Jack Daniel’s distillery after the Civil War.
In the community
- Balliol College, University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia and American Airlines have partnered to support the “Teaching the Transatlantic Slave Trade Project.” The project supports a bi-national teacher professional development series focused on the history and impacts of the transatlantic slave trade during the Age of Revolution.
- American is proud to support the first nationally ranked all-Black high school cheerleading team as they seek global recognition from the Universal Cheerleader Association. Students, parents and coaching staff of D.W. Carter High School in Dallas will fly from Dallas-Fort Worth to Orlando, Florida, later this month to compete in the national cheer championship for the first time.
- The BPN EBRG will host team member events focused on advocacy, health equity and the economic empowerment of Black communities throughout the month.
- Among them, BPN will host a fireside chat with long-time activist, Opal Lee “Grandmother” of Juneteenth who tirelessly advocated for the day to be recognized as a national holiday. The event will honor Lee for her activism and accomplishments in fighting for equality and her path forward in uplifting our community. Additionally, BPN will also host a Be the Match donor registry drive at our headquarters and in our hubs.
Throughout the year, American will continue to communicate new partnerships, products and programs that reflect the airline’s commitment to becoming an industry leader in diversity, equity and inclusion.