Water cannons blasted over United Airlines flight 1258 as it left its gate, celebrating that every person on the flight crew, from pilots to gate agents and ramp staff, was Black.
The all-Black crew flew from Houston to Chicago on Saturday morning, commemorating Juneteenth, now a federal holiday celebrating the end of slavery. Before takeoff, a celebration of the crew included a speech from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a saxophone performance from one of the pilots, Sal Crocker, and water cannons on the tarmac.
Turner said the flight crew was a symbol for how far the Black community has come over the past 150 years.
“Now, we’re soaring amongst the stars,” Turner said to CNN affiliate KTRK. “Let me tell you, for our ancestors, my parents, if they were still alive, they would just be amazed.”
Just 2.47% of United States aircraft pilots and flight engineers are B