Black women board American Airlines flight from Dallas to honor trailblazer Bessie Coleman

The airline hosted the Bessie Coleman Aviation All-Stars flight this week to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Coleman making the first public flight by an African American woman in 1922.

Coleman’s daughter, Gigi Coleman, was welcomed onto the plane by an all-black crew of pilots, flight attendants, customer service coordinators, baggage handlers and flight maintenance technicians , said the plane.

“I am very grateful to American Airlines for giving us this opportunity to show what my great mother did at the airport,” Gigi said in a video released by American Airlines titled ” Empowering Women in the Skies.”

Very few American women of all races obtained pilot’s licenses in 1918, but those who did were white and wealthy. Undeterred, Coleman learned French and moved to Paris and was accepted by the Caudron Brothers School of Aviation. In 1921, Coleman became the first African American and African American female pilot.

Coleman died at the age of 34 in 1926 during a practice flight with a pilot. Although he did not achieve his dream of opening a flight school for future black pilots, Coleman’s impact on aviation history lives on, CNN previously reported.
Never forget Bessie Coleman and the women of history

Black women “are underrepresented in the airline industry, especially as pilots, representing less than 1% in the commercial airline industry,” American Airlines said.

“Today, I’m very happy to be a part of a team where we inspire young girls, young girls of color, to see the different roles that these women are playing in that with this method this flight is possible,” Captain Beth Powell, the pilot of the plane, said in the video.

American Airlines said it is committed to transforming the airline industry, which includes “increasing awareness and increasing the ability of the airline industry in diverse communities” through his cadet school.

The day after the famous flight, representatives from the Bessie Coleman Foundation and American pilots met with students at South Mountain Academies in Phoenix, where the plane landed, to show to young people in the aviation industry.

“I know she was the first African American woman to get her pilot’s license, she was the first to do that so she inspired the next generation to follow in her footsteps and see that they can to be what they want,” said Mohamed Mohamed. , an aspiring pilot studying aerospace at school, in the video.

CNN’s Karla Pequenino contributed to this report.

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