Join LANTA in Celebrating Black History Month
February marks the beginning of Black History Month where we celebrate the legacy and accomplishments of African Americans. As a transportation authority, LANTA recognizes the African Americans who made a significant impact on the transportation industry. The most popular example is Rosa Parks who is known for refusing to give up her seat on the bus to a white man in 1955. This inspired the Montgomery Bus Boycott led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Here is a list of other prominent figures in transportation history:
1) Garrett Morgan (1877-1963)
Invented the three-position traffic signal in 1922.
2) Bessie Coleman (1892–1926)
Pilot of the first public flight performed by an African American woman in 1922. She went on to teach flight lessons throughout the United States and Europe.
3) Arcola Philpott (1913-1991)
Hired by the Los Angeles Railway on August 1, 1944, she was the first Black and female streetcar operator.
4) William Coleman Jr. (1920 – 2017)
Appointed as Secretary of Transportation by President Gerald Ford in 1975, he also made U.S. History by creating the first Statement of National Transportation Policy.
5) Rodney Slater (1955–)
Appointed to the Arkansas Highway Commission by President Clinton in 1987. Next, he was appointed as the director of the Federal Highway Administration in 1993. Slater was the agency’s first African American administrator in their century long history. After his years at the agency, Rodney Slater was appointed as the Secretary of Transportation from 1997 to 2001.
The passion and efforts of past generations has greatly improved many industries in our country, especially transportation. These changes have made public transportation equitable and accessible for all regardless of the color of one’s skin or racial identity. LANTA strives to continue this legacy by providing the highest quality and most cost-effective transportation system possible through efficient use of all resources.