Black Lives Matter Activist Claims American Airlines Booted Her from Plane for #FlyingWhileBlack

Cezanne Poetry Slam YouTube

Over the course of several Tweets, a vocal Black Lives Matter supporter named Imani Cezanne accused American Airlines of racial discrimination after a flight crew escorted her from the plane.

The alleged incident occurred last Friday. Cezanne says before her flight from Charlotte to Atlanta took off, she noticed that some non-English-speaking passengers were asked to move out of the exit row.

Cezanne says she asked a flight attendant why those people had to move. “If you don’t speak English you can’t sit in an exit row,” Cezanne says the attendant explained to her.

Cezanne says she thought the issue was resolved, and went back to talking to the woman sitting next to her about what had just happened.

And that’s when, according to her, the situation went from bad to worse.

As she continued to Tweet her version of events, Cezanne attributed American Airlines’ decision to escort her from the plane as being racially motived.

Cezanne also said her being booted from a plane for being black is “how you can literally be walking away from an officer and be shot dead. Because he ‘felt threatened.”‘

American Airlines, for their part, did reach out to Cezanne via Twitter.

Cezanne said she “spoke with an @AmericanAir rep on the phone who says ‘”There is nothing we can do for you,”‘ adding that she was not offered a refund and eventually took a bus ride to Atlanta.

Speaking about the incident, American Airlines released the following statement:

An unruly passenger was removed from American Eagle Flight 5192, operated by PSA Airlines, from Charlotte to Atlanta due to failure to comply with crew member instructions. The passenger refused to exit aircraft when asked, so local law enforcement was called. We will work with the customer to resolve the issue. American Airlines values diversity and we do not discriminate for any reason.

Cezanne tweeted a picture of the shirt she says she was wearing when the incident occurred. Attempting to make a connection, the shirt she was wearing shows a list of names of black people who have been killed or assassinated by police or someone white.

In a YouTube video posted just days after her dustup with American Airlines, Imani Cezanne is seen performing slam poetry about a previous altercation she had with the Transportation Security Administration.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @jeromeehudson


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