#WCW: Women Who Slay / Culture

Women you should know: Bessie Coleman

Pioneering aviator and daredevil Bessie Coleman was the first African American and Native American woman to be a pilot.

Bessie Coleman was born on January 26, 1892, in Atlanta, Texas. After completing school she worked as a laundress and saved her pay until 1910 when she left for Oklahoma to attend Langston University. She left after one year when she ran out of money.

The air is the only place free from prejudices. I knew we had no aviators, neither men nor women, and I knew the Race needed to be represented along this most important line, so I thought it my duty to risk my life to learn aviation. . .

 – Bessie Coleman


 Here is a list of 5 things that you should know about the lady who took to the skies.

  1. 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.
  2.  She was Nicknamed ‘Queen Bess’
  3.  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.
  4. Coleman died tragically on April 30, 1926, in an accident during a rehearsal in Jacksonville, Florida. She was only 34.
  5.  On January 26, 2017, the 125th anniversary of her birth, a Google Doodle was posted in her honor.

For more on Queen Bess read it here

  1. http://www.notablebiographies.com/Co-Da/Coleman-Bessie.html
  2.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessie_Colema
  3.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYYy-dT4498

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