When hearing about female pilots most think of Amelia Earhart. But in Atlanta, Texas in 1892 a different female pilot was born, Bessie Coleman. This pilot, though, would be the first African American pilot licensed to fly.
Inspired by tales of World War I stories she set her sights to fly. Though, she was a woman and African American, her sources were limited in the United States. She then pursued her dream by learning French, in order to travel to France to live her dream. Finally, in 1920 Coleman used her life savings along with money from the first African American millionaire, Robert Abbott, to make her journey to France.
It took Coleman seven months, but she finally achieved her dream and became the first licensed African American pilot. After she received her license she moved back to the United States and was greeted by many reporters and the media. She performed at countless air shows where she performed thrilling stunts. Coleman refused to perform in arena and at shows that did not allow African Americans.
Coleman’s life ended early as she was killed in a plane accident just five years after receiving her license in 1926. Coleman will always be remembered as a women who went after her dreams and defied what others believed. She is a true pioneer for all African Americans, especially women.