Women’s History Month: Houston aviation trailblazer Azellia White

As we end Women’s History Month, we salute Mrs. Azellia White, an aviator who was one of the first African-American women to earn a pilot’s license in the United States. This true pioneer was a proud Houston resident until her death at 106 years old.

White (born June 3, 1913) is recognized as a trailblazer, overcoming widespread perceptions at the time, “that neither women nor African Americans were qualified to fly airplanes.” She and her husband ran the Sky Ranch Flying Service, an airport and flight school for African American aviators.

In 1936, she married Hulon “Pappy” White. Five years later, they relocated to Tuskegee, Alabama, where Hulon White worked as an airplane mechanic with the Tuskegee Airmen. White was inspired by a visit from Eleanor Roosevelt in 1941, after which Roosevelt encouraged her husband to let the Tuskegee Airmen fly in World War II. White began training there, flying a Taylorcraft airplane under the instruction of several Tuskegee Airmen. She earned her private pilot’s license on March 26, 1946.

After World War II ended, the Whites moved to South Houston. Together with Tuskegee Airmen Ben Stevenson and Elton “Ray” Thomas, they founded the Sky Ranch Flying Service in 1946. Located on the Taylor-Stevenson Ranch, the Sky Ranch Flying Service was an airport for Houston’s black community and provided charter flights as well as flying lessons. White was not an official owner, but was popular around the airport. Flying students often asked her to take them for rides, and she would sometimes play pranks on them in midair, taking them by surprise with stunts. Because travel by land exposed African-Americans to potential harassment or assault, she would sometimes fly from town to town with her niece to go shopping. Sky Ranch Flying Service closed when new laws restricted the use of the G.I. Bill and caused business to slow.

In April 2018 White was inducted into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame (housed in Lone Star Flight Museum). In Houston, the Aviation Science Lab at Sterling High School was named in her honor. Principal Justin Fuentes called her “a powerful reminder to our students that they can be anything they want to be and achieve anything they want to achieve. No one can stop them.”

White received the Trailblazer Award from the Black Pilots of America for her “pioneering spirit in forging a path to the field of aviation.”

She died on September 15, 2019.

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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