In an inspiring move for young Black girls everywhere, Kimberley Anyadike made history this weekend. At just 15-years old, she is now the youngest Black female to fly an airplane from coast to coast. The teen flew from Compton, California to Newport, News Virginia. She was accompanied by an adult safety pilot and a World War II veteran that flew with the Tuskegee Air Men, Levi Thornhill. She made the journey to honor the group, noted for being America’s first black military airmen. Kimberley made thirteen stops before reaching her final destination. During those stops she met with some of the airmen who showed their support by signing her plane.
Kimberley learned to fly an airplane and a helicopter at the Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum in Compton during an after school program for at risk youth. Motivated by the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, it was her idea to accomplish the feat.
“They left such a great legacy; I had big shoes to fill. All they wanted to do was to be patriots for this country. They were told no, that they were stupid, that they didn’t have cognitive development to fly planes. They didn’t listen. They just did what they wanted to do.”
Way to go Kimberley. We’re proud of you!