For those of you who didn’t catch the first post, I am writing a series of posts that highlight strong women from all different times, races, and walks of life.
Today’s entry focuses on Bessie Coleman. Born in 1893 in Alanta,Texas, she was intrigued with the stories she read about the pilots during World War I. She wanted to earn her pilot’s licence, but the US schools denied her entry because of her race. This did not deter her. She learned to speak French and then moved to France to earn her pilot’s licence from the Caudron Brother’s School of Aviation in only seven months.
This woman was almost denied her dream because of her skin color during a time of intense racism, but instead of giving up on her aspirations, she furthered her education and achieved her goal. Bessie went on to become the first black woman to earn her pilot’s license. She spent the rest of her life performing aerial stunts for audiences.
I cannot pretend that I truly understand what it is like to be denied an education because of the color of my skin, and I am amazed at the tenacity of this young woman. Society was too entrenched in its discrimination and hatred, but Bessie was able to move past this.
There are so many roadblocks in each of our lives, and too often we allow these trials to keep us from what matters most to us. This is an example of a woman who did not give up.
Sadly, she died doing what she loved at the age of 33. I imagine that she was at peace with her decisions.