Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman was an American civil aviator. She was the first female pilot of African American descent and the first person of African-American descent to hold an international pilot license. In 1916 at the age of 23, she moved to Chicago, Illinois, where she lived with her brothers and she worked at the White Sox Barber Shop as a manicurist, where she heard stories from pilots returning home from World War 1 about flying during the war. She could not gain admission to American flight schools because she was black and a woman. No black U.S. aviator would train her either. Robert S. Abbott, founder and publisher of the Chicago Defender, encouraged her to study abroad. Coleman received financial backing from banker Jesse Binga and the Defender – Wikipedia.
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