Segregated Skies: David Harris's Trailblazing Journey to Rise Above Racial Barriers

It was 1964 and black men didn't fly commercial jets.

But David Harris was about to change that ...


After years of flying B-52 bombers in the United States Air Force, David Harris applied to be a pilot for commercial airliners, an opportunity no other African American before him---not even the famed Tuskegee Airmen---had ever been afforded. After receiving rejection after rejection, he finally signed on with American Airlines in 1964. But this success was just the beginning of another uphill battle for equal treatment.


This gripping narrative, perfect for middle grade readers and Black History Month, follows Harris's turbulent path to become the first African American commercial airline pilot in the U.S., presented against the backdrop of racial tensions, protests, and the landmark civil rights legislation of the 1960s. It's the story of a man who fought social injustice the only way he knew how---by succeeding.


By Michael Cottman.  Published by National Geographic Kids, 2021.  Hardcover, 128 pages.

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