Black History encapsulates more than a month. This new daily series will take a look at some lesser known events and people in the world.
As black people were innovating on the ground and taking over the stars, there was also some action in the air. Bessie Coleman was the first black woman to fly a plane. She earned her pilot’s license sometime in 1922 but the path she took to get it was very cunning and backwards.
Coleman was unable to learn in the States because of institutionalized racism so she learned French at the Berlitz school in Chicago and moved to France in order to earn her license at the Caudron Brother's School of Aviation. During her time at the school, Coleman learned how to fly using a 27-foot bi-plane. The process took only seven months.
Coleman’s ultimate goal was to start an aviation school for black people. Her main skills included aerial tricks, stunt flying and parachuting. Coleman would wow audiences made up of hundreds of whites with her amazing skills. Sadly, Coleman was killed in 1926 after a rehearsal for an aerial show went south.
Read more on Coleman’s life here.