125th Birthday Of America’s First Black Female Pilot Bessie Coleman

Google commemorated the 125th birthday of Bessie Coleman, first black female pilot in America

Just days before Black History Month kicks off, the Doodle was a timely dedication to an underrated black icon, first black female pilot Bessie Coleman.

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Coleman, who was repeatedly turned away from American aviation schools for being a black woman, was told by an associate that if she wanted to learn to fly, she would have to move to France. So she learned French and prepared to head overseas.

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In 1920, she relocated to Paris to learn how to fly. Despite being the only black person in her class and witnessing one of her classmates die in a plane accident, Coleman persisted through seven months of aviation school and was awarded with an international pilot’s license in 1921.

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For five years, Coleman stunned audiences at air shows and only performed at locations that admitted black people. At 34-years-old, Coleman’s prosperous life was abruptly cut short after mechanical errors caused her to fall from a plane in April of 1926. Nearly 10,000 people attended her funeral including advocate and journalist Ida B. Wells.

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To this day the legacy of first black female pilot, Bessie Coleman, continues to live on and inspire black women.

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