Bessie Colman

The year is 1921. The place is France. Bessie Colman becomes the first African American woman to earn a pilot’s license.

Talk about a can-do spirit! She started school in a one room segregated school house in Texas and proved herself to be an outstanding math student. (There are lots of #HiddenFigures in the US!) Her natural talents and interest in aviation were not enough to ensure that she got training in the US. She taught herself French so that she could go to France to study. The rest is history! At least in terms of a pilot’s license.

Like many early pilots, Bessie Colman died in a plane accident. She was on her way to do flying stunts at an airshow as ‘Queen Bess.’ She was 34 years old.

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