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Saturday, 14 May 2016

BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY - AFRICAN AMERICAN " BESSIE COLEMAN " BECAME THE FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMAN TO STAGE PUBLIC FLIGHT IN AMERICA - GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK HEROES "

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Bessie Coleman Biography
Pilot (1892–1926)

NAME
Bessie Coleman
OCCUPATION
Pilot
BIRTH DATE
January 26, 1892
DEATH DATE
April 30, 1926
PLACE OF BIRTH
Atlanta, Texas
PLACE OF DEATH
Jacksonville, Florida
NICKNAME
Brave Bessie
Queen Bess
FULL NAME
Bessie Coleman
SYNOPSIS
EARLY LIFE
BREAKING BARRIERS
DEATH
CITE THIS PAGE
In 1922, aviator Bessie Coleman became the first African American woman to stage a public flight in America. Her high-flying skills always wowed her audience.
IN THESE GROUPS

FAMOUS AQUARIANS
FAMOUS PEOPLE BORN IN 1892
FAMOUS PEOPLE WHO DIED ON APRIL 30
FAMOUS PEOPLE NAMED COLEMAN
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Synopsis

Bessie Coleman was the first black woman to earn a pilot's license. Because flying schools in the United States denied her entry, she taught herself French and moved to France, earning her license from France's well-known Caudron Brother's School of Aviation in just seven months. Coleman specialized in stunt flying and parachuting, earning a living barnstorming and performing aerial tricks. She remains a pioneer of women in the field of aviation.

Early Life

Born on January 26, 1892 in Atlanta, Texas, Bessie Coleman was one of 13 children to Susan and George Coleman, who both worked as sharecroppers. Her father, who was of Native American and African American descent, left the family in search of better opportunities in Oklahoma when Bessie was a child. Her mother did her best to support the family and the children contributed as soon as they were old enough.

At 12 years old, Coleman began attending the Missionary Baptist Church in Texas and, after graduating, embarked on a journey to Oklahoma to attend the Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University (Langston University), where she completed only one term due to financial constraints.

In 1915, at 23 years old, Coleman moved to Chicago, where she lived with her brothers and worked as a manicurist. Not long after her move to Chicago, she began listening to and reading stories of World War I pilots, which sparked her interest in aviation.

Breaking Barriers

In 1922, a time of both gender and racial discrimination, Coleman broke barriers and became the world's first black woman to earn a pilot's license. Because flying schools in the United States denied her entry, she took it upon herself to learn French and move to France to achieve her goal. After only seven months, Coleman earned her license from France's well known Caudron Brother's School of Aviation. 

Though she wanted to start a flying school for African Americans when she returned to the U.S., Coleman specialized in stunt flying and parachuting, and earned a living barnstorming and performing aerial tricks. In 1922, hers was the first public flight by an African- American woman in America.

Death

Tragically, on April 30, 1926, Coleman was killed in an accident during a rehearsal for an aerial show which sent her plummeting to her death. She was only 34 years old.

Coleman remains a pioneer of women in the field of aviation.