Black History Month: Celebrating Those Who Came Before Us
Bessie Coleman (1892 - 1926)
Although she was the first licensed Black woman pilot in the world, Bessie Coleman wasn’t recognized as a pioneer in aviation until after her death. Coleman was denied admittance to flying schools in the United States as she was an African American and a woman, so she applied for flight school in France and was accepted. Known as “Brave Bessie” or “Queen Bess” she performed daring flying tricks and spoke of her experiences to audiences. Coleman refused to perform in venues in which African Americans were segregated or discriminated against. She paved the way for a new generation of fliers such as the Tuskegee airmen, Blackbirds and Flying Hobos.
February 9, 2021
Source: O The Oprah Magazine, January 2021, National Women’s History Museum, Encyclopedia Britannica