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Bessie Coleman

Bessie Coleman, better known as Queen Bess, was the first black woman in the world to earn an international pilot's license. She was born in a one-room cabin in Atlanta, Texas in 1892. She was the tenth of thirteen children. Bessie moved to Chicago and decided she wanted to be a pilot after hearing about female pilots in France. No pilot in America would teach her to fly because she was black and a woman. Bessie did not let this stop her. She saved her money made doing manicures in a Chicago barbershop, learned French in night school and traveled to Paris, France. There she became the first black to receive an international pilot's license from the prestigious Federation Aeronautique Internationale in 1921. Bessie toured the country and organized exhibition flights and gave numerous speeches about the potential of the people of her race.

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