Ms. Bessie Coleman

Ms. Bessie Coleman was the first Black and Native American woman to hold a pilot’s license.

Degree(s): N/A

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Undergraduate Institution: Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University (now Langston University) (HBCU)

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Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Ms. Bessie Coleman was the first Black and Native American woman to hold a pilot’s license. Since aviation schools in the U.S. did not admit women or Black people, Ms. Coleman traveled to France in 1920 to begin training towards her pilot’s license. After returning to the U.S. with her license, she performed as a stunt flier to earn a living. One of her goals was to establish a Black aviation school in the U.S.

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