Our favorite time of the year is finally here!

It is time to celebrate and dedicate the entire month of February to black history. Follow Sheen Magazine along the way as we’ll share black history facts throughout the entire month. Every day, we will share little-known facts, celebrate those who played made their mark in history, and the historic moments and events.

Bessie Coleman

Early Life

Bessie Coleman was born on January 26th, 1892 in Atlanta, Texas. She was one of 13 children to George and Susan Coleman, who were sharecroppers.

When Bessie was a child, her father left the family in hopes of finding better opportunities in Oklahoma. Susan Coleman was left to support the family.

Texas to Oklahoma. Oklahoma to Chicago

When Bessie was 12-years-old, she began attending the Missionary Baptist Church in Texas. Upon graduated she went on a journey to Oklahoma in order to attend the Oklahoma Colored Agricultural and Normal University (now named Langston University).

Unfortunately because of financial reasons, Coleman was only able to complete one term.

It was in 1915 when Bessie decided to move to Chicago. It was there where Bessie lived with her brothers and worked as a manicurist.

While living in Chicago, her interest in aviation sparked when she began reading and hearing stories of World War I pilots.

During her new interest into reality

Bessie knew she had to make in effort to make this new interest of her come true because flying schools in the United States denied her entry.

She taught herself French, moved to France and earned her license from France’s Caudron Brother’s School of Aviation in just seven months! Talk about making things happen!

This all happened during the ’20s when gender and racial discrimination was at it’s all-time high. This accomplishment made Bessie the world’s first black woman to earn a pilot’s license.

Coleman returned to the United States and specialized in stunt flying and parachuting. In 1922, Bessie also became the first African American woman in America to make a public flight!

The passing of Bessie Coleman

Unfortunately, only four years after her outstanding accomplishments, Bessie Coleman was in a tragic accident during a rehearsal for an aerial show, she was only 34-years-old.

Her legacy

Today, Bessie Coleman is still admired for her ambition and bravery, she is still a pioneer for women in the aviation field.

Featured Image: Shutterstock

Information obtained on Biography