The first African American female pilot
Despite facing poverty and discrimination, Bessie Coleman became the first African American female pilot.
After hearing the exciting stories from pilots returning from World War I, Coleman decided she was going to learn to fly.
It was nearly impossible for a woman to earn her pilot’s license in the United States during this time, so Coleman went to France to learn in 1920.
When she returned to the United States a year later with her international pilot’s license, she was met with fanfare and celebration.
She used her newfound fame to promote equality — Coleman would decline airshows that wouldn’t admit African Americans.