STORIES
Explorers Heroes

Bessie Coleman

by Jaydah from Brooklyn

To me a hero is someone who sets goals for themselves; they believe in rights for others, they are also brave, smart, and able to persevere. I chose Bessie Coleman as my hero, she was the first black woman to become an airplane stunt woman, and she also succeeded in getting her pilot's license. Bessie is my hero because, she is an influence to the black culture, she was a determined, fearless, and an ambitious black African-American woman. She was determined to be the first black lady to fly airplanes and do stunts, in my opinion Ms. Coleman was a good influence to African-American men and women.

Bessie Coleman had many accomplishments throughout her life. She was the first black lady to earn her pilot's license, but had to overcome some racial obstacles. When she first went to apply for an aviation school in America, they denied he, because during that period of time; they were not accepting blacks for the flight school. Bessie took it upon herself and learned French and moved to France to pursue her dreams. On the same token, she as an African- American woman broke barriers during a time of both gender and racial discrimination. After her several course lessons in France, she came back and got the job only men were able to do in America - Bessie became a stunt woman that flew air-crafts. Coleman became popular for her air-craft stunts, such as the Barrel rolls, loop-the-loop, and a 2,500-foot parachute jump. She became famous after her plane gave out on her, she stated "TELL THEM AS SOON AS I CAN WALK I'M GOING TO FLY!" (Bolden 22) Bessie drew huge crowds to air plane shows in New York, Boston, and in Chicago.

Bessie Coleman should be admired during black history month, I feel she should be admired because Bessie was the first black woman to become a pilot; she earned her license and pursued her dreams. She also inspired many black women with the dream of becoming a pilot, Bessie was also the first African-American to receive a commercial pilot's license in 1937, and was a co-founder of an aviation school in Chicago. She made many changes in the world for young black boys and girls.

Bessie Coleman has made many fantastic contributions to the world during her time and for the future. When Bessie came back from France and got her license, she returned to America, which caused the United States to accept blacks to study aviation flight in America. After she recovered from her first plane accident her ambition caused her to create huge crowds at air shows because people loved seeing her doing the air stunts, because of that it helped Coleman become more famous. She changed the rules of the flying jobs in America, instead of men just flying planes and doing stunts in the air, Bessie changed it to both men and women.

I feel that Bessie Coleman was a success towards blacks. It was a difficult time in history where black women did not have the opportunity to explore different types of outside jobs nor do things men did like fly planes and do stunts, but Coleman took it upon herself and changed things around in order to pursue her dreams. Bessie Coleman opened up the honors for blacks to go to an aviation school and earn their pilot's license in order to pursue their dreams also. Ms. Coleman best left her greatest legacy be stating her famous quote: "If I can create the minimum of my plans and desire, there shall be no regrets" (Bolden 24).

Page created on 3/25/2013 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 3/25/2013 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.