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Black History: Special Delivery!!


November 21, 2015

“Faith Is Taking The First Step Even When You Don’t See The Whole Staircase.” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Black History:  Special Delivery!!


“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Barrington Irving: First African American To Fly Around The World Solo At Age 23

Black History: Special Delivery!!

barrington irvin
Barrington Irving in 2007 as he returns from his around the world flight.

 Barrington Irving (1983 – ) developed an interest in flying through a chance encounter when a man in a flight uniform came into to the bookstore owned by his parents. The man asked Irving if he had ever considered a career in aviation. Initially, he told the man that he did not think he was smart enough to pursue such a career. However, the conversation did pique his interest and through this encounter he had the opportunity to sit inside a plane cockpit.

Irving was unable to afford flight lessons right away. So he saved his money and purchased a computer flight simulator game that he used for practice. He continued to save up money until he was able to afford private flight lessons. Irving obtained his pilot’s license at 19. By the time Irving was 21, he had already begin to think about the legacy he wanted to leave. He had lost many friends due to violence or prison and wanted his life to go in a different direction and have a positive impact. He decided that flying around the world would be something he could do to leave a positive legacy.  He began to pursue this goal, but faced many challenges for almost 2.5 years. At a cost of $650,000, purchasing his own aircraft would have been impossible for Irving. He decided to approach companies and ask them to donate parts to help build the plane. Eventually he was able to secure all of the parts which were needed.

In 2007, his plane, “Inspiration” was finally ready. The plane had no radar, no de-icing system when he left Miami. His flight around the world would take 97 days and 27,000 miles to complete. Thousands awaited him when he returned to Miami on March 23, 2007. He was then, the youngest person ever to fly solo around the world. This record has since been broken by a 22 year old, Swiss pilot. Irving was struck by the number of young people who had followed his flight around the world.  He used this inspiration to start his own non-profit, Experience Aviation. The non-profit serves students in Miami’s failing high schools to teach them about aviation and get students excited by STEM fields.

Check out this inspiring video and hear Barrington Irving’s talk about his flight around the world!

Did you miss our previous post? Click here to learn about, “The Book of Negroes” compiled by the British during the American Revolutionary War.

The Book of Negroes: A Record of Enslaved Blacks Who Fought For The British During the American Revolutionary War In Exchange For Freedom

Black History: Special Delivery!!

book of negroes
Book of Negroes

The Book of Negroes: A Record of Enslaved Blacks Who Fought For The British During the American Revolutionary War In Exchange For Freedom

The Book of Negroes chronicles over 3,000 enslaved African Americans who fought for the British during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783). The liberation of American colonies from British rule was the goal of the war. For the chance at freedom, enslaved blacks took up arms against the American colonies. They knew that American independence and freedom from British rule, would not result in them being freed from slavery.

For their loyalty to the British, more than 3,000 enslaved and free black people were relocated to Nova Scotia, Canada. They would become the first settlement of Black Canadians. The presence of this document reflects the inherent contradiction of the American colonies quest for freedom and independence; the contradiction being that the newly forming America would deny enslaved blacks the same rights that it sought for itself.

The possibility of freedom offered by The British to those who survived the war was a powerful recruitment tool. Ironically blacks who were free were more likely to support the American Patriots rather than the British. Their support was based largely on the promise of land. Nearly 1/3 of the newly re-settled blacks who went to Nova Scotia would resettle again on the continent of African in Sierra Leone.

In 2007, Lawrence Hall published a work of fiction, “The Book of Negroes” based on the quest of enslaved Africans who sought to gain their freedom by fighting for the British.  In February 2015, BET aired a 6 part miniseries based on the book.


Did you miss yesterday’s post? Click here to view a powerful quote from James Baldwin

Quote: People Can Cry Much Easier Thank They Can Change. -James Baldwin

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

james baldwin 2

“People can cry much easier than they can change.” -James Baldwin

Did you miss yesterday’s post?  Click here to learn about Lloyd Gains, his Supreme Court victory and mysterious disappearance.


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