“I refuse to take no for an answer.”


Bessie Coleman (1892-1926)
Bessie Coleman, “Brave Bessie,” overcame racial and gender stereotypes to become the world’s first black woman pilot. She was born into poverty in Texas, as one of 13 children. Bessie was unable to get admitted into a US pilot’s school due to her race and color. She heard France was training women pilot’s so she earned to speak French, and got her pilot’s license in Europe. After receiving her license she was still unable to make any money. Bessie returned to Paris and learned to be a Barnstormer. Bessie became a celebrity and fought for racial and gender equality. She died tragically, in 1926, when a plane she was riding in malfunctioned.