BLACK WOMEN CONTINUING TO MAKE MAJOR MOVES
by Rob Taylor Jr.
Courier Staff Writer
Even before the May 25 tragic death of George Floyd by a White Minneapolis police officer, Black women like Navy Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle and television host Joy Reid were busy soaring to new heights.
It just so happens that, as the U.S. is in the middle of an increased awareness of racial and social injustice due to Floyd’s death, which was captured on video for all to see, the latest feats from Lt. Swegle and Reid have bubbled to the forefront.
Lieutenant Swegle became the Navy’s first known Black female tactical jet pilot last week, as she completed the undergraduate Tactical Air (Strike) pilot training syllabus, according to the Navy Times. She’ll be able to fly aircraft such as the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter and the EA-18G Growler.
The Navy Times also reported that Swegle is a 2017 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and is currently assigned to the Redhawks of Training Squadron (VT) 21 at Naval Air Station Kingsville in Texas. She will earn her Wings of Gold at a ceremony on July 31.
“It’s official. My daughter, Maddy continues rise,” Swegle’s father, Carey Manhertz, wrote on Twitter, July 9.
“Very proud of LTJG Swegle,” Rear Adm. Paula D. Dunn, the Navy’s vice chief of information, wrote on Twitter, July 9. “Go forth and kick butt.”
“Congratulations, LTJG Swegle!” tweeted Sen. Elizabeth Warren on July 11. “You make the @USNavy and our country stronger.”
In 1980, Brenda Robinson became the first Black female graduate from the Navy’s Aviation Officer Candidate School.
Come July 20, you’ll be seeing much more of Reid, as she has been named the 7 p.m. weeknight host of “The ReidOut” on cable network MSNBC. There are currently no Black women who host a national news show on weeknights. Gwen Ifill, who co-anchored PBS Newshour, was the last Black woman to do so. Ifill died in 2016.
JOY REID is now the host of “The ReidOut” on MSNBC starting July 20 at 7p.m.
“African American journalists, African American women in particular, are woefully underrepresented on TV in all hours of the day,” said MSNBC’s 9 p.m. weeknight host Rachel Maddow to The New York Times. “But particularly in prime time, it’s just a desert. Joy more than deserves this time slot and this kind of national platform.”
Reid currently hosts weekend mornings on MSNBC, titled “AM Joy.”
Reid is a 1991 graduate of Harvard University. She was formerly the managing editor of theGrio.com, which was catered to African American audiences. Reid also hosted a radio show in Miami, and has contributed articles to The New York Times and The Miami Herald, among other publications.
MADELINE SWEGLE, the Navy’s first Black female tactical jet pilot.