Casey Grant is a trailblazer and jet setter. She was among the first African American stewardess for Delta Air Lines. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, raised by a military family, she loved flying and traveling the world. Her traveling spirit began with starting school in South Cherney, England, later moving to Tripoli, Libya in North Africa and finally moving to Rantoul, Illinois.
Her dream of becoming a stewardess was a natural progression for her, but what caught her eye was the glamour. “We were on the same level as movie stars and models, “Grant says. Grant loved the glamour and meeting notable people such as the original Tarzan, Johnny Weissmuller, three U.S. Presidents, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., Coretta Scott King, and Smokey Robinson. With the glamour came constant racism. She fought to be treated with dignity and respect.
Grant experienced a cross burning behind her house in Miami on the Palmetto Express. “Pilots would not allow African American stewardess to work in first-class. We were denied entry to the cockpit, even thought it was part of our duties to serve the cockpit crew. We were called the n-word, and they could put you off the plane if they did not want you on the plane,” says Grant.
Grant and other African American flight attendants held their heads high and were able to support and help one another during stressful situations and stay cheerful with smiles on their faces. “When the good old boys retired and the new generation came in, that’s when things changed for the better,” says Grant.
In 2005, Grant hung up her wings after 35 years with Delta Air Lines. She graduated from Harrington College of Interior Design in Chicago, opened an interior design business, ECG Design Interiors, and is the host of “The Fly Girl Show” on Blog Talk Radio.
Grant’s first book, “Stars in the Sky,” is a historical and inspiring journey of the joys and challenges of being one of the first African American stewardesses who worked on the front lines for significant airlines and unsung African American aviators who were erased from history. “I wrote this book because we all know the white flight attendants story, but no one knows about the African American flight attendants story, fighting for our civil rights in the sky,” says Grant.
It is essential to understand the contributions African American flight attendants made during a time when the friendly skies were not, at times, friendly to us. “People don’t know what we went through to get this job and the doors we opened. Remember, the flight attendant is one of the most important features on the airplane,” Grants says.
For more information about Casey Grant, email her at Casey@TheFlyGirl10.com. “Stars in the Sky” is available on Amazon, Kindle, and Barnes & Noble.