Bessie Coleman's Story: Breaking Barriers and Soaring Dreams

Categories: AviationBiography

The Pioneer Aviator

In 1922, Bessie Coleman was the first African-American women to ever stage a public flight. Her high flying skills always wowed the audience. Bessie Coleman was born on January 26, 1892, she was the first-ever black woman to earn her pilot’s license. Since her school in the United States denied her entry she self-taught herself French and moved to France. She earned her license from France’s well-known Caudron Brother's School of Aviation only in seven months. 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.

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. Fun fact Bessie nicknames were Brave Bessie, Queen Bessie, and The Only Race Aviatrix in the World.” Bessie wanted to the first black woman to start her own school and teach people how to fly an airplane.

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She also wanted to encourage black women to follow their dreams and never give up hope. She was so close to making her dream come true and fulfilling her destiny.

Bessie grew up in Waxahachie, Texas. She helped her mom to raise extra money by picking cotton and washing laundry. As soon she was eighteen she had enough money to attend

Colored Agricultural and Normal University.she then dropped out because she didn't have enough money to keep going there.

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At the age of 23, she moved to Chicago to go and live with her brothers. She then attended Burnham School of Beauty Culture in 1915 she then became a manicurist in a local little barbershop. While her brothers were in the military Bessie was thinking and wondering how it must feel to be in the war that's what made her want to become a pilot.

Unfulfilled Dreams and Tragic End

When she became the first black woman to get their license she then believed anything was possible. She then wanted to influence other people so she decided to make a school to help people learn how to fly an airplane. Before she could dol that she had to complete on more mission. On April 30, 1926, Bessie took a flight with a mechanic named William Wills.she was the passenger as William was driving. At about 3,000 in mid-air, a loose wrench got stuck in the engine of the aircraft and the plane flipped upside down. Back then planes did not have a seat belt or a roof so Bessie fell out of the plane and died. William then crashed the plane a couple of miles away from Bessie's body and died as well from the impact. Bessie ended up never fulfilled her dreams. However, a few years later people opened a school in honor of Bessie Coleman. That was Bessie Coleman's life and how she got through it as a black woman.

Updated: Jan 24, 2024
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Bessie Coleman's Story: Breaking Barriers and Soaring Dreams. (2024, Jan 24). Retrieved from

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