Travel September 10, 2020

Journalist gets moving Black Lives Matter note from flight attendant

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"I see you. You matter. Black Lives Matter."

Eights words written on a note that made Kellee Edwards, a TV host, "lose my breath."

Edwards is the first Black woman to ever host a show on the Travel Channel. She's an adventure travel expert and podcaster. She also spends a great deal of time giving back to her community.

"Everything I do is with my community at the forefront," she told "Good Morning America." "Encouraging them to step out of their comfort zone, to get up and go." Edwards most recently took 32 children on their first flight in partnership with Fly Compton.

Kellee Edwards
Kellee Edwards and American Airlines flight attendant John McCullough on a Sept. 8 flight from Phoenix to Chicago.
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She works so hard, she said, she often forgets about herself. "I don't remember that as a Black person doing all the heavy lifting I also need support," she said through tears as she explained why she was so touched by the note she received.

The simple gesture of the in-flight note was the work of American Airlines flight attendant John McCullough on a Sept. 8 flight from Phoenix to Chicago.

“During this flight, the crew and I connected with Ms. Edwards, so I felt comfortable enough to share something more heartfelt than usual on her first class note," McCullough told "GMA." "I immediately knew it was well received when I saw the happiness in her eyes and the smile behind her mask. I’m happy I get to work for a company that connects people and places and I’m beyond proud of American’s actions to promote inclusivity.”

Edwards told "GMA," "In my career and in first class, I'm often the only Black person." She's been told more than once by airline employees, "we're only boarding first class right now" when she is seated in first class.

"I get to my seat and I get the look," Edwards said, "As Black people it's like we have to be extraordinary [to be seated in first class].

When McCullough handed her the note, Edwards said "everything came rushing to the forefront. It was like [when she read] 'I see you, you matter,' [she thought] "yes I do,"

Edwards called McCullough's note was "purposeful and not performative. Performative is something we have a lot of right now." She said she hopes people who hear her story realize "there are still so many good people in the world and a simple gesture can not only change someone's day, it can change someone's life."

As she exited the plane, Edwards told McCullough how moved she was by his note. His response? "You've always mattered."