Photo Credit: My Mom Is So Fly Author Jerome Stanislaus
Black Pilot Writes 'My Mom Is So Fly' Book To Inspire Black Girls
Black pilots make up less than 1%, or less of than 700, of all commercial pilots. Less than 30 are Black women, and Jerome Stanislaus wants to change that.
Jerome is known for his relentless work in encouraging Black teens to consider careers in aviation.
He is now adding author to his many titles with his new book “My Mom Is So Fly.” The book, which is already selling out pretty fast, launched on Nov. 27.
In an interview with Travel Noire, Jerome discusses his inspiration behind the book:
Travel Noire: What inspired you to write this book?
Jerome Stanislaus: I was teaching at an all-girls elementary school, and I would always ask my students randomly, “what do you want to be when you grow up?”
They would always say the same things, like a police officer, a beautician, a firefighter, a doctor, or a lawyer. These are all good things, but I used to think, “what about aviation?”
Aviation is not generally considered in the Black community, and for many of us, it isn’t a realistic career path. I often say our community believes being a famous rapper, singer, or professional athlete is more attainable than flying. I want people to know there are many aviation industry opportunities; a few even have six-figure salaries.
Travel Noire: The book just launched, and already, there has been so much support from the community. What is your reaction to that?
Jerome Stanislaus: Honestly, it’s unbelievable. I have goosebumps on my body right now.
I’ve been pouring my soul into being a positive role model for the community for a little while now, and the response the book is getting is just incredible. I appreciate it so much because the publishing process was so stressful.
My book was supposed to be out in the summer, but there were some hurdles I needed to get over.
Travel Noire: How did you come up with the name?
Jerome Stanislaus: I grew up in the 90s and early 2000s. The term “fly” was commonly used for something considered cool, coupled with the main character flying airplanes for a living. The story itself is actually my childhood sprinkled with a little bit of imagination.
Since I worked at an all-girls elementary school and have two daughters myself, I saw the importance of making the characters female, especially Black females, because black women are like the most underrepresented demographic in aviation.
Travel Noire: So, what’s next for you?
Jerome Stanislaus: I’m definitely going to write more books; I have the next one in my head. But right now, my goal is to work hard and continue to advance as a pilot; eventually, own a flight school. I want to inspire Black youth to think outside the box. That’s my goal.
I also set up a GoFundme to help speed up obtaining the initial investment needed to buy an airplane to expose inner-city kids to aviation. I usually rent the planes that I use for discovery flights at $165.00 an hour. I’ve spent thousands of my own money. Owning an airplane would make it a lot easier to give actual flight lessons with a certified flight instructor and create pilots.
You can see more from Jerome by following him on Instagram.