In honor of Juneteenth we are starting a series of posts about Black Texas History. Once past Buffalo Soldiers, Barbara Jordan and Herman Sweatt, items can be hard to find. Most of the ones I've come across over the years have been by chance, such as this one I found after being curious about a mention of Bessie Coleman Drive in Chicago near O'Hare Airport.
Coleman was born in Atlanta, Texas, on January 26, 1892, and was raised in Waxahachie. She moved to Chicago in 1915 and worked as a manicurist. Her brother John served in France during World War I, and his tales of French women flying airplanes inspired her to pursue a pilot's license. Unable to attend flight schools in America, she studied in France and was licensed in 1921. She flew in air shows around the country, lecturing and giving lessons, until her untimely death in 1926.
American Hopes -- Bessie Coleman website
U. S. Centennial Flight Commission
Waxahachie Historical Information