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Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X Education can get you to a lot of places if you focus on it. Education got Bessie Coleman to becoming the first African American woman to earn a pilot’s license and to stage a public flight in America. She still remains the pioneer of women aviation. Bessie Coleman is a black global leader because she was the first African American woman to earn a pilot’s license and stage a public flight in America.

Bessie Coleman was born on January 26, 1892 in Atlanta, Texas. She was one of 13 children to Susan and George Coleman (Early Life 1). At age 12 years old, Bessie Coleman began attending the Missionary Baptist Church in Texas, after she graduated, she went to Oklahoma to attend Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University (now called Langston University) (Early Life 1).She only completed one term because of financial issues (Early Life). Coleman’s journey did not end there Bessie then moved to Chicago where she lived with her brothers and worked as a manicurist (Early Life 1). That is where she became interested in aviation. Bessie began to listen to and read stories of World War I pilots to influence her in aviation (Early Life 1).

In 1922, Bessie broke barriers and became the world’s first black woman to earn a pilot’s license (Breaking Barriers 1). Since flying schools in the United States denied her entry, she taught herself French and moved to France to achieve her goal in aviation (Breaking Barriers 1). When Coleman came back to the U.S. she specialized in stunt flying, earned a living brainstorming and performing aerial tricks (Breaking Barriers 1). When she came back from France Bessie specialized in stunt flying and parachuting, and earned a living brainstorming and performing aerial tricks (Breaking Barriers) She then that same year staged her first flight by an African American woman in America. (Breaking Barriers 1).


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On April 1926, Coleman traveled to Jacksonville, Florida in a JN-4 that she had recently purchased. Bessie had been planning to parachute jump the next day and was not wearing a seatbelt in order to survey the terrain (Journey 2). Halfway through the flight the plane went into a dive but was unable to pull out of it as the plane began to spin (Journey 2). Bessie was thrown 500 feet and died instantly because of impact with the ground (Journey).

Bessie Coleman was a hardworking, determined , and strong-willed woman. I  think she would be a great example for anybody that would want to pursue their dream job. Bessie went through many complications for her to be able to  learn how to fly, but instead of giving up, she pushed herself to learn French so she could move to France and obtain her goal in aviation. Coleman’s courage in chasing her dream and breaking down barriers in her way has made her a great black heroine to generations for children around the world (Bessie Coleman 7).

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