Her Story: Bessie Coleman

Bessie Coleman
First African-American Woman Pilot

Bessie Coleman (1892-1926) was the first black woman to earn a pilot’s license.

Every flying school that she approached in America refuse to enroll her as a student because she was black and a woman. Bessie wouldn’t take no for answer. She learned French and On November 20, 1920 she moved from New York to Paris in order to pursue her dream of flying.
On June 1921 she received an international pilots license from the Federation Aeronautic International, she was the first licensed African-American pilot in the world.

After receiving a pilot’s license she performed stunts at airshows throughout the nation but only excepted offers to perform for shows that were disaggregated. She dazzled the crowds with her stunts and refused to be kept down by racism.

Bessie is a hero of early aviation and inspiration to young women everywhere.

Read More About This Project: Her Story: Honoring Women, Empowering Girls

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