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Elizabeth Bessie Coleman is an unknown figure in American history At first she complied with societys standard of job opportunities for women at the turn of the century by working as a domestic and later a manicurist Creasman 162-3 After feeling unfulfilled she turned to flying The search for flying lessons by an African American in the 1920s alone could have discouraged anyone but not Bessie Her dream was to open a flight school where young African American men could learn how to fly This was a bold endeavor for any person regardless of race After acquiring an international pilots license she became somewhat of a novelty She was African American a woman and a pilot Realizing her power as an attraction she would only fly in air shows with the understanding that they not be segregated Freydberg 91 Bessie was very intelligent often surrounding herself with women and men of power Examples being Ida B Wells-Barnett Josephine Baker Ethel Wate rs Bill Bojangles Robinson Robert Abbott Miriam A Ma Ferguson and Kojo Touvalou-Houenou Ms Coleman was also active in both the NAACP and Marcus Garveys Universal Negro Improvement Association Freydberg 28 She also attended the Second Pan African Congress which was held by WEB du Bois Freydberg 28 Bessie Colemans should not be considered as a novelty but as a person who fought for the equal rights of African American and women Bessie Coleman was born on January 20th 1896 in Atlanta Texas In many historical and biographical accounts her birth year appears as either 1892 or 1893 which ever suited her needs Her mother Susan was African American and her father George was three quarters Choctaw Indian and one quarter African Salzman 606 The combination of ancestry gave Ms Coleman her copper colored skin tone Within two years the Coleman family packed up and made the trek 30 miles south of Dallas to Waxahachie Texas Mabunda 61 There was more or less a
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