History Maker: Meet Léopoldine Doualla-Bell Smith, the world’s first Black Flight Attendant. Leopoldine was born in Cameroon, West Africa, she began flying as a stewardess in 1957 with Union de Transports Aeriens (UTA). She remembers her first flight at the tender age of 17 like it was yesterday! Léopoldine had no idea how her first flight was going to be like, she was so scared her colleagues helped her calm down…Her first flight wasn’t easy but she didn’t make that discourage her.
Léopoldine also had her fair share of racism as one of the world’s first black flight attendants, which was not very common in those days, in fact it was unheard of!
In celebration of their 40th anniversary, the Black Flight Attendants of America recently honored Doualla – Bell Smith, 76, now retired in Denver, for her years of service at the flight path Museum at the Los Angeles International Airport. Leopoldine is a true pioneer and a legend, she broke through barriers as a woman.
She is married to LeRoy Smith for almost 36 years. In 1969, she decided to stop flying and left Air Afrique to become manager of a subsidiary of UTA, she later became a travel consultant. At her leisure, she enjoys spending time with her grandchildren… I’m very honored; I did not expect this. It feels good to be honored; very, very good..says Leopoldine Doualla – Bell Smith, after she was honored continue here
You are Léopoldine Doualla-Bell Smith a History Maker! Paving way for lots of black people today! May God continue to bless and protect you always!
Credit/Photo courtesy/ www.cameroononline.org/atlantablackstar.