Women Transforming Media

MY HERO thanks Charlotte Mangin and Sandra Rattley, creators of the UNLADYLIKE2020 series, for giving us permission to embed this video. Winner of the 2020 Eva Haller Women Transforming Media award, UNLADYLIKE202 is a series of 26 short films and a one-hour documentary profiling diverse and little-known American women from the turn of the 20th century, and contemporary women who follow in their footsteps. The series premiered on PBS’s American Masters in honor of the centennial of women's suffrage, and is narrated by acclaimed actors Julianna Margulies and Lorraine Toussaint.

UNLADYLIKE2020: Bessie Coleman


Directed by: Charlotte Mangin, Sandra Rattley | Produced by: Charlotte Mangin, Sandra Rattley | Starring: Julianna Margulies Key Cast “Narrator” The Good Wife, ER, Billions Lorraine Toussaint Key Cast “Voice of Bessie Coleman” Selma, Orange is the New Black, The Glorias | 2020 | United States | 9:03

Interviewees: Madeline McCray, playwright, actor, and author of Bessie Coleman: A Dream to Fly; U.S. Air Force Colonel and the first and only black woman to pilot the U-2 plane, Merryl Tengesdal.

Bessie Coleman (1892-1926), the daughter of sharecroppers of African American and Cherokee descent in rural Texas, spent her childhood picking cotton. In 1915, she moved to Chicago as part of the Great Migration of African Americans to escape racial terror and find greater job opportunities in the North. After working as a manicurist in a barber shop, she made up her mind to become an aviator. Coleman was rejected from entering every aviation school in the U.S. for being Black and for being a woman. Refusing to take no for an answer, she traveled to France to train as a pilot, and in 1921 became the first African American to obtain an international license to fly. When she returned to the U.S., Coleman became a media sensation with her daredevil performances, and was hailed as “Queen Bess” and “the world’s greatest woman flier.” Throughout her brief career, Coleman refused to perform in airshows where audiences were segregated.

Page created on 1/19/2021 7:38:26 PM

Last edited 2/24/2021 11:44:47 PM

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