Black American Airlines Pilot Gives 2-Year Old A Moment He Won’t Forget

by Giovanni

An interaction with an American Airlines pilot is going viral on TikTok for all the right reasons. TikTok user @smithknation took to the platform to share a heartwarming interaction between her 2-year old son and an American pilot.

The 2-year old, who she explains is obsessed with airplanes, visited the cockpit. The pilot helps him onto the first officer’s seat, lets him grab the yoke, and even gives him his hat for a photo. The mother posted the video adding captions including “representation matters” and “thank you American Airlines.” Take a look:


My son will never forget this. Tag @American Airlines ! I hope the pilot sees this too. Thank you #representationmatters #americanairlines #fyp

♬ original sound – Knix and Kna

With race in the news again, this video and comments it’s getting once again show how representation matters to children. American Airlines was the first airline to hire a black pilot all the way back in 1964. That story is now the subject of a book by a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. But despite all the time that’s passed, pilot ranks have been slow to diversify.

Related: Viral Post Describes American Airlines CEO Doug Parker’s Conversation About Race

In a follow-up comment on her video, the mother notes that in all her flying, she’s “never even seen a black pilot in person. 🥺 I’ll never forget this.”  That’s not a surprise. As of 2019, less than 3% of pilots in the U.S. were black.

As a commenter on TikTok notes, “Love this. Representation does matter. Looking at a future pilot in the works!” Hopefully, the pilot is able to see this video so he can see what his gesture of kindness meant for the family and the response he’s getting from viewers. As another commenter writes, “He’s going to for ever remember this day!! Also I’m not crying looking at your beautiful video🥲🥲🥲”

Related: Pilot Draws Fist In The Sky As Black Lives Matter Protests Continue

The Upshot

A black American Airlines pilot is going viral on TikTok for giving a young black boy a cockpit tour he won’t forget. And while race and diversity is in the news again, this heartwarming moment shows how representation and simple acts of kindness can make a big impact.

Related: Frequently travel international? Here’s why you should switch your phone service to Google Fi

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Albert February 20, 2022 - 9:44 am

Why does it matter that he is black?

CHRIS February 20, 2022 - 11:31 am

It doesn’t. However the attention-starved author has virtue signal and genuflect at the altar of wokeness in order to show everyone that they’re one of the “good” white people.

Giovanni February 21, 2022 - 2:07 am

Thanks, both but as you can see in my bio – I’m actually (half) non-white myself. And if you’re wondering why the representation matters, seems like you missed half the paragraphs in the post.

CHRIS February 21, 2022 - 6:39 am

Being half Asian doesn’t get you any points anymore. This is the NEW woke world. Only black counts.

Eugenia January 17, 2024 - 9:04 pm

Recognition of a first is normal. Your Asian butt wouldn’t be here if not for the immigration programs, Dr Martin Luther King pushed.

Dee More February 23, 2022 - 1:50 pm


Ayesha Saeed February 20, 2022 - 11:27 am

I can’t express how much I’m happier to read this blog, especially about that 2-year-old child who lived the best moment.

Chuck February 20, 2022 - 12:34 pm

What difference does it make what race he was? Unless you’re trying to prove a point? It’s great that a little kid such a wonderful experience. Glad to see that it happened and that it was posted.

James Nance February 23, 2022 - 8:10 am


DaninMCI February 20, 2022 - 2:04 pm

Cute video of a kid and his love for airplanes. I hope he grows up to live his dream. I don’t know why race has to enter into such things. Is it odd that there are so few black pilots? Sure I guess but it’s not because of some great white conspiracy to keep black people from flying airplanes. Just like there is no such issue for women flying airplanes. One of the scariest landings I have ever experienced was a super windy landing in Detroit about 5 years ago. I thanked the pilot on the way out of the plane. She did a great job that day.

Eugenia January 17, 2024 - 9:08 pm

Daninmci, you answered your own question. What does race have to do with it? Because there is so few pilots. You just said that. No one said anything about a white conspiracy, but you. It like you dug to see if there was a root for the tree, and then decided it must be getting its nourishment, from a vein a phosphorus. Geez.

Shindig February 20, 2022 - 5:36 pm

If the pilot was White, would it be called condescending White privilege?

Eugenia January 17, 2024 - 9:15 pm

Ah no. It is just a black kid who loves airplanes, seeing someone that looks like him. No more than that, except to the mother. I can remember to this day, as a kid, when a pilot let me into the cockpit, when the plane was flying (I’m old). I was shocked because the pilot looked like me. My first international flight to central America, I didn’t know that a Caribbean Airline, would have Black and Hispanic pilots. I’d only seen white pilots to that point and I would have been happy if they invited me up, but, no, these guys did.

tda1986 February 20, 2022 - 6:31 pm

A lot of people don’t seem to understand how toddler brains work. If the kid is two, he almost certainly will forget this.

Delflyer February 20, 2022 - 7:38 pm

I’m not sure if certain airlines pay for this kind of positive press, but as an airline pilot myself, I can tell you that this is not on American Airlines. AA pilot uniforms contain silver detail, not the gold as shown. Clearly not an AA pilot hat. Why not at least get the airline accurate in a story like this?

Max D. February 23, 2022 - 9:15 am

Great point r/t the silver detail as used on American Airlines uniforms which means I would feel very comfortable with you in the cockpit as your vision is definitely 20/20 +. As to the color of the pilot’s Integumentary system, I care very little as long as they define themselves as Homo sapiens best defined as (Latin: “wise man”) the species to which all modern human beings belong.

Keith February 23, 2022 - 6:23 pm

It’s a sky West pilot and they do regional flying for AA. I’m sure the that the ticket said AA on it. I’m glad for a positive experience from anyone on any airlines at the moment because it all seems to be about someone having too much to drink and hitting a FA!

JAY February 23, 2022 - 4:02 pm

You racists are comical (ALBERT, CHRIS, CHUCK, JAMES NANCE, DANINMCI, SHINDIG). Yes, btw, I’m labeling you racist. No klan hoods or swastikas you say? Good for you! Nonetheless, your comments demonstrate your willful blindness, a sincere effort to deceive, or mind-boggling ignorance…all demonstrative of textbook racism (aka implicit bias, subconscious bias, prejudice, etc…all efforts to ‘water down’ the ‘racist’ label. It’s all racist though, at its heart). Cross burners and you (if your comments here are to be applied to your world view) continue to move the proverbial racist needle forward. That’s racism, in effect–irrespective of your conscious beliefs. Sorry!

Why does it matter that the pilot is black? Because there are so few. The answer is obvious and also repeatedly implied in the article.

We’re all humans/homo sapiens? (I see you MAX D.) Agreed, sadly that sentiment often doesn’t pan out in practice by white homo sapiens (including the practice of training and hiring pilots) in years past (slavery) or today (hiring practices and the resulting disparity in representation). Note the word, representation, mentioned several times in the article. I find it hard to believe that you do not comprehend the value of always seeing individuals who look like you doing good things or succeeding (white males) versus not seeing that. Whether a kid can consciously recall it or not TDA1986, the information is there for a period of time and it informs other less tangible aspects of a human’s beliefs beyond the specific experience. Plus THERE IS A PHOTO OF IT, therefore conscious memory isn’t required! WTF people!

Bottom Line: The derisory comments on ‘wokeness,’ etc. impact me (and others like me) as little as my comments here impact you (and others like you).

I type my comment simply as an exercise, to see this asinine concept, ‘racism isn’t a thing anymore,’ BALANCED by the practice, ‘pointing out the obvious.’ It’s not FAIR by the way (sorry FoxFriends), that ignorance must be balanced by clarity. This constant promotion of ignorance by the aforementioned and others is effectively holding the homo sapiens species back from progress. We should have colonized the solar system by now. Instead we’re vehemently expending energy and capital on self-destructive and inane things. Conservatism & anti-evolution indeed. SMH

I direct my above comment primarily to the rare few who haven’t made up their mind yet.

Regarding the authenticity of the post and whether it’s a paid, poorly crafted, PR effort. How said if true, for myriad reasons.

Rebecca February 23, 2022 - 7:01 pm

I do hope that this child remembers this experience because he is only 2 years old. My first memories are from when I was 3.

CHRIS February 23, 2022 - 7:01 pm

Jay (loser),
Start fawning all over Asian pilots and then we can dance. Don’t you have some shoplifting to do or perhaps a business (or two) to burn down in the name of “equality”?

JAY February 24, 2022 - 8:16 am

CHRIS (racist),

Thank you for again demonstrating to those on the fence how completely absurd you (and those you represent) truly are. Fawning, Asian, Shoplifting, Arson…ROTFLOL. Please, go on man. Tell us more! LOL

justin March 4, 2022 - 9:46 am

One of my favorite jokes applies here:
What do you call a black pilot?
A pilot you racist phuk!

eskişehir gezilecek yerler June 1, 2022 - 3:54 pm

best articles!


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