The first African American to earn a pilot's license was Bessie Coleman.
Born in Texas in 1892, she read about the air war in Europe during World War I. She became interested in flying and yearned to be in the sky rather than read about it. Bessie started looking for a flight school, but soon realized she had two strikes against her: She was a woman and she was black.
She heard that Europe had a more liberal attitude toward women and people of color so she learned to speak French and earned enough money to go to Paris to get her license. She eventually earned her license on June 15, 1921 from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale(FAI)
She returned to the U.S. and began teaching other black women to fly, giving lectures and performing at flying exhibitions.
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EAA Young Eagles