“I decided blacks should not have to experience the difficulties I had faced, so I decided to open a flying school and teach other black women to fly.”

“I refused to take no for an answer.”

Bessie Coleman was the first African American woman and first Native American woman to have a pilot license. She worked as an American civil aviator, and got her international pilot license in 1921. In 1922, she staged a public flight in the US, the first African American and Native American woman to do so. Flying schools in the US wouldn’t let her in, so she taught herself French and went to France in order to earn her pilot license. She earned a living by performing stunt flying and parachuting, but she also hoped to open up a school so she could “teach other black women to fly.” Sadly, Coleman died at only 34 years old during rehearsal for a show, and did not get to realize all of her ambitions.