Celebrating Black History Month

Monday, March 9, 2009

TSA Little Rock

Miami TSO Danilo Hoffman.
Photo by Juanita Brown

Milton Pitts Crenchaw (pictured) was one of the original Tuskagee Airmen and one of the nation’s first African- Americans to be trained by the federal government as a civilian licensed pilot. He spoke at a TSA-sponsored Black History Month celebration at Little Rock (Ark.) National Airport on Feb. 18. “It was just another bump in the road I had to deal with,” said Crenchaw, describing his experiences dealing with segregation. “I just bounced over the bump and kept on going. I live in the greatest country in the world and I have been blessed with opportunities.” Crenchaw trained hundreds of cadet pilots and played a key role in the start of the first successful flight program at a Little Rock college.

TSA New Orleans

Miami TSO Danilo Hoffman.
Photo courtesy of TSA New Orleans

TSA employees at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport enjoyed poetry readings by TSOs Vera Arnold and Stacey Raines, with TSO Rayfield Alveris playing African music. TSO Gerald Hauswald sang the national anthem and TSO Sheena Toomer sang the black national anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing. African-American contributions from entertainment to science were honored, including Louis Armstrong, the native-born jazz musician for whom the airport was re-named in 2001 in recognition of his 100th birthday. Accomplishments of TSA New Orleans’ African-American leaders, FSD Larry Austin, Assistant FSD-Screening Rufus Davison and Supervisory Field Counsel Hattie Broussard, were also recognized. Austin was the highest ranking African-American in the Florida Highway Patrol when he was named lieutenant commander in 2001.

Pictured, first row (from left), Austin; TSOs Alveris, Terry Johnson, Jolan Fleming, Raines, Joywanne Adams, Toomer and Arnold; Supervisory TSO Earnestine Joseph; TSO Ray Forestier and Davison; second row, BDOs Melvin Sparks and David Harrison; TSO Kendrick Wysingle; STSO Warren Haga; Hauswald; Lead TSOs Walter Francis and Steve Birney; Supervisory TSO David Stoulig; Management Analyst Jonathan Kelchner; and STSO Jeff Buras.