More than 100 years ago Bessie Coleman became the first black woman to earn a pilot's license in 1921. She broke down barriers in the world of aviation and paving the way for others.
In honor of her legacy, American Airlines hosted the Bessie Coleman Aviation All-Stars tour this week to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Coleman performing the first public flight by an African American woman in 1922.
Flying Gigi Coleman, Bessie’s great-niece from Dallas-Fort Worth to Phoenix.
“I’m grateful for American Airlines to give us this opportunity to highlight my great aunt’s accomplishments in the field of aviation,” Gigi said in a video posted by American Airlines titled “Empowering Women in the Skies.”
The flight was operated by an all-black female crew from the pilots and flight attendants to the cargo team members and the aviation maintenance technician.
Even though it's been a century since Coleman's achievement, black women have been notably underrepresented in the aviation industry, especially as pilots, representing less than 1% in the commercial airline industry.