On this day in 1921, Bessie Coleman became the first Black woman to earn a pilot’s license

In 1920, Bessie embarked on a journey to France, a country known for its more inclusive aviation schools. She enrolled at an aviation school near Paris, where she became the first Black woman to train as a pilot.

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National Air and Space Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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On June 15, 1921, Bessie Coleman etched her name in history as the first Black woman to earn a pilot’s license. Her achievement shattered racial barriers in the aviation industry.

Coleman was born on January 26, 1892, in Atlanta, Texas, to a family of sharecroppers. Growing up in a time of racial segregation and limited opportunities for Black Americans, she faced numerous challenges.

Bessie Coleman pilot’s license in 1921 from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.

In 1920, Bessie embarked on a journey to France, a country known for its more inclusive aviation schools. She enrolled at an aviation school near Paris, where she became the first Black woman to train as a pilot.

Sadly, her life was cut short in a tragic accident during a test flight in 1926. Nevertheless, her pioneering spirit left an indelible mark on history, inspiring others to follow in her footsteps.


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