Bessie Coleman

African-American Studies / April 23, 2015 / No Comments /
A look at how this early 20th century African-American female pilot served as an inspiration to others.

“History does not always come with drums beating and flags flying. Sometimes it comes on a wave of silence. Sometimes it whispers. Sometimes it comes on wings. A native of Texas and daughter of mixed parentage, Bessie Coleman came of age with the airplane. When American aeronautic schools rejected her applications, she learned French, went to France and obtained her pilot license there. As a barnstorming stunt pilot, Coleman performed all over America, earning the nickname “Brave Bessie” for her daring tricks. She planned to teach other African-Americans to fly, but an accident in 1926 took her life. Who knows what she might have accomplished with more time? One thing that is known: she gave Black People, especially Black women, wings. ”

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