Bessie Coleman

American Civil Aviator

Bessie Coleman was an American Civil Aviator. She was the first woman of African-American descent to hold a pilot license. She became a successful air show pilot in the United States and hoped to start a school for African-American fliers, but tragically died in a plane crash in 1926. However, her pioneering role continues to be an inspiration to early pilots and to the African-American and Native American communities. Bessie is quoted by saying “The air is the only place free from prejudices. I knew we had no aviators, neither men nor women, and I knew the Race needed to be represented along this most important line, so I though it my duty to risk my life to learn aviation.”