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Bessie Coleman | American Experience | Official Site | PBS

When she decided she wanted to learn to fly, Bessie Coleman traveled abroad to become the first African American female pilot.

A black and white photo of Bessie Coleman, who became the first black woman to obtain a pilot’s license and fly in the United States .

Contrary to what male-dominated pop culture might have you believe, plenty of badass women have grabbed adventure by the horns too.

Bessie Coleman

Bessie Coleman broke through the headwinds of racial prejudice as a barnstorming pilot at air shows in the 1920s. As a pilot, Coleman quickly established a benchmark for her race and gender in the 1920s. She toured the country as a barnstormer, performing aerobatics at air shows.

Bessie Pease Gutmann

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