Bessie Coleman: Woman Pilot, Aviation Leader

Take a break from reading about Valentine’s Day dates, chocolates and flowers to learn about an amazing Girl Leader. Bessie Coleman was the first African-American woman to stage a public flight in America in 1922. That’s pretty impressive, and her flying skills were impressive to all who watched– especially since she specialized in aerial tricks!

Bessie was born January 26, 1892 in Texas, went to University in Oklahoma, and later moved to Chicago. In 1922, she decided to get her pilot’s license. The difficulty with this was that no pilot schools in the U.S. would grant her entry because of her gender and race. Coleman then taught herself French, went to pilot school in France, and received her license in just 7 months.

In 1922, her public flight was the first one performed by an African-American woman. Her ultimate dream was to start a flying school for African-American’s in the United States. Tragically, she died in April of 1926 during a flying accident. Bessie Coleman will forever be remembered for the great heights she reached, and the helping to pave the way for women in aviation.

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