#BlackHistoryFacts | Bessie Coleman
Bessie Coleman (1892 - 1926) was an American aviator. Born to sharecroppers, she became the first black to hold a pilot's license. At early age, Coleman developed a love for flying. But, because neither blacks nor women were allowed entry into flight schools in the US, she saved money, learned French, and moved to France to achieve her goal. Within seven months, she earned her international pilot's license in 1921, specializing in stunt flying. parachuting, and barnstorming. In 1922, Coleman became the first black woman to stage a public flight in the US. She was a popular flyer at aerial shows. Speaking at schools and churches, Coleman was an advocate for blacks to become interested in flying and to become pilots. Before her death, she was raising funds to create a school for black flyers. Three years after her death in 1926, the Bessie Coleman Aero Club was established and trained many black pilots, including Tuskegee airmen. In 1995, the US Postal Service honored Bessie Coleman with a commemorative stamp.