Thursday, January 26, 2017

BESSIE COLEMAN ON HER BIRTHDAY

Bessie Coleman was the first African American pilot to get a license to fly in the U.S.

Coleman was born in a time when blacks had little or no rights that white people were bound to respect. They were being condemned by whites sans the rule of law or trials and they were being lynched. 

Feeling Rebloggy

"[Black people]  couldn't ride in railway cars with white people, or use a wide range of public facilities set aside for whites. When young Bessie first went to school at the age of six, it was to a one-room wooden shack, a four-mile walk from her home. Often there wasn't paper to write on or pencils to write with. 
When Coleman turned 23 she headed to Chicago to live with two of her older brothers, hoping to make something of herself. But the Windy City offered little more to an African American woman than did Texas. When Coleman decided she wanted to learn to fly, the double stigma of her race and gender meant that she would have to travel to France to realize her dreams...
Coleman learned French at a Berlitz school in the Chicago loop, withdrew the savings she had accumulated from her work as a manicurist and the manager of a chili parlor, and with the additional financial support of Abbott and another African American entrepreneur, she set off for Paris from New York on November 20, 1920. It took Coleman seven months to learn how to fly. 
The only non-Caucasian student in her class, she was taught in a 27-foot biplane that was known to fail frequently, sometimes in the air. During her training Coleman witnessed a fellow student die in a plane crash, which she described as a "terrible shock" to her nerves. But the accident didn't deter her: In June 1921, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale awarded her an international pilot's license....

Read More:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/flygirls/peopleevents/pandeAMEX02.html