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First black pilot was Ellis County native

Readers know February is Black History Month but some may not realize that a major African American figure in the history of aviation came from Ellis County. This year marks the 93rd anniversary of pioneering aviatrix Bessie Coleman’s death in a Florida plane crash, but her legacy endures far beyond the state of her birth. Born in 1892 in Atlanta, Tex. and raised by sharecropper parents in Waxahachie, Coleman had a childhood fascination with planes that turned into an obsession. “I was black, I was female, and I wanted to fly,” Coleman said. “I’d look up and think that, if we’re ever going to better ourselves, we’ve got to get above these cotton fields.” Coleman’s determination to “amount to something” sent her soaring higher than she could have imagined over the poverty of her youth. The first American pilot – black or white – and the first woman to earn an international flying license, Coleman became a celebrity for her unusual ambition, nicknamed “Queen Bess” by the media. Read stories like this and more in your latest edition of The Ennis News. Be informed, subscribe today!

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Posted by on Feb 5 2019. Filed under History of Ennis, Lifestyles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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