Bessie Coleman, Brave Bessie Essay

1170 words - 5 pages

Bessie Coleman, the child of a southern, African American family, had become one of the most widely know women and African Americans in history. "Brave Bessie", as she had become known for, encountered the double hardship of racial and gender prejudice in early 20th-century but, she conquered many challenges and became the first African American woman to acquire a pilot's license. She not only enthused crowds with her talents as a barnstormer, but she has become a great inspiration for the women and African Americans. Her being in the air threatened contemporary stereotypes. She also disputed segregation when she could by taking advantage her impact as a celebrity to make a change, no matter how little.

The Coleman family, like majority African Americans who resided in the Deep South among the early 20th century, encounter a lot of troubles and hardships. Bessie's family dealt with segregation, and racial animosity. Because of such difficulties, Bessie's father made a decision to move their family to the Indian Territory in Oklahoma. He conceived they could make a more desirable living for them there. Bessie's mother, didn't want to live in the Indian reservation and choose to stay in Waxahachie. Bessie, and a few of her sisters, also decided to stay in Texas. Bessie was a very determined person. In spite of working long hours, she still manged to find time to educate herself by getting books. Even though she couldn't attend school all the time, Bessie learned a good amount on her own enough to graduate high school. She then began on to study at a Colored Agricultural and Normal University in Langston, Oklahoma. However, because of her constrained budget, she only went for one semester of college.

Bessie first contemplated being a pilot after reading different things about aviation and looking at newsreels about flying. But the real thing behind her choice to be an aviator was when her brother John. Bessie's brother had served overseas in World War I and came home talking about, the dominance of French women over the women in Chicago's South Side." He told her that the women over there flew airplanes and said that flying was something Bessie could not be able to do that . John's teasing was the push that she needed to start to pursue her pilot's license. She started to flight apply to flight schools in the country right away, but since she was female and a African American, no United States flight school would accept her. Soon after being rejected by the American flight schools, she met Robert Abbott, publisher of a known African American paper, the Chicago Defender. Robert suggested that Coleman save her money and relocate to France, where he believed was on of the world's most racially growing nations, and get her license there. Coleman quickly followed Robert Abbott's suggestion and quit her job being a manicurist so she could begin work as a manager at a chili parlor, a more well paid job. She also started to learn French in her...

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