On June 15, Gigi Coleman, great niece of legendary aviator Bessie Coleman, will be at the EAA Aviation Museum dressed in vintage aviation attire to celebrate the 100-year anniversary, to the day, of Bessie earning her pilot’s license. Bessie Coleman was both the first African-American woman and first Native American—man or woman—to earn a pilot’s license.
During two presentations at the museum’s Founders’ Wing (at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.), Gigi Coleman will discuss her great aunt’s life and ambition to fly. According to EAA, her passion for aviation stemmed in part from her brother John, who noted that, in France, women could fly. At the presentations, Gigi Coleman will discuss how Bessie moved to France, got her license, and ultimately performed as an airshow pilot.
Ron Connolly, Director of the EAA Aviation Museum, said, “The ability to have Gigi Coleman come speak on behalf of her great aunt Bessie Coleman is especially important because it encourages individuals to go out and achieve their dreams. Bessie’s achievements show that people are capable of many great things if they set their mind to it.”