Bessie Coleman: Black History Bio & Craft

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Who is Bessie Coleman?

BESSIE COLEMAN (1892-1926) was the first black woman to become an airplane pilot and the first African American to hold an international pilot license. She was born in Atlanta, Texas to sharecroppers.

Bessie Coleman was an outspoken feminist who defied Jim Crow laws and made her dreams a reality.

“After receiving a string of rejections from American aviation schools, Coleman turned to Abbott for advice. He suggested that she learn French, save her money, and apply to accredited flying schools in France, where racism would be less of a barrier. Before long she had completed a course in basic French at a downtown language school and secured a better job as manager of a chili parlor. The money she saved from her work — together with gifts from a number of wealthy sponsors, including Abbott — was enough to pay for her passage to Europe as well as her flying lessons. She sailed for France in November of 1920, and upon her arrival enrolled in a seven-month training course at the Ecole d’Aviation des Freres Caudron at Le Crotoy.”  Read more about Bessie Coleman on GALE.


Bessie Coleman Craft 

Want to learn a unique craft to celebrate Bessie Coleman’s love of flying?  Head on over to Growing Up Blackxican for the tutorial!