Home Culture American Airlines Employee Talks About Being an African American in Aviation

American Airlines Employee Talks About Being an African American in Aviation

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Pamela, born in Memphis, Tennessee at a young age knew that she wanted to work in aviation. But getting an education for someone of her race in the ’60s was very difficult, much less wanting to enter a field that was closed off to people of color. But she overcame her fears by never giving up and staying positive. 

Matokeo ya picha ya pamela camarena on living her dream

During a recent interview with #AATeam, she reminisces about some of these challenges she went through as a young African American. 

She notes that Martin Luther King was assassinated not far away from her grandmother’s house. During that period she could see police with riot dogs patrolling the streets, making it difficult for them to go feel safe and having a normal childhood. 

Many of her challenges were due to the color of their skin- she now realized that all the challenges she faced could have been avoided if people simply accepted each other. #blackhistorymonth #AATeam

Pamela recalls attending a job fair and was told that she could not be picked because of her color. It’s at this point that her father encouraged her not to let people discourage her. According to Pamela: “My father said, ‘You never let anyone tell you what you can’t do, but you find a way to get where you need to go.’ And that’s exactly what I did. I was the youngest. I was an African American. And I was a female.”

Pamela has been working with American Air for 45 years now, the same company that her father worked for as a painter, and feels extremely proud to have made her dream come true.

“Together, my 130,000 colleagues and I have the pleasure of connecting more than 200 million customers each year to the people and moments that matter to them the most.”– Pamela

She encourages young people to achieve their dreams and be ready to fight off all the barriers on the way. She teaches people not to let race or gender be the hindrance to achieving success. 

Watch the full video here

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