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  • Writer's pictureDenise Gillam

Bessie Coleman 1892-1926

Bessie was born 26th January 1892 in Atlanta Texas, one of 13 children to Susan and George Coleman who were sharecroppers.

Bessie’s dream was to be a pilot and after she was denied entry to flying schools in the United States, not just because she was black but also the fact she was a woman, she taught herself French and went to France.

Once there she studied at France’s Caudron Brother’s School of Aviation earning her license in just 7 months.

This made her the first African-American woman, and also the first Native-American to hold a pilot’s license.

She went on to specialize in stunt flying and parachuting and this is how she made a living.

Unfortunately on the 30th April 1926 she was killed at the age of 34 years in an accident rehearsing for an aerial show.

Bessie Coleman remains a pioneer of women in the field of aviation to this day and she should be an inspiration to us all that our dreams can be fulfilled if we want them enough.

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