Portrayed by Daisy Century
The first African-American woman to become a licensed airplane pilot and the first American to hold an international pilot license, Bessie Coleman was a woman who didn’t give up. Born in Texas, raised on a farm, she loved school and walked four miles every day to attend a one-room all-black school through 8th grade. Working with her mother and two sisters, she did laundry, cleaned homes, picked cotton to earn money to finish school. At age 18, she enrolled in the Oklahoma Colored Agricultural Normal University, but only had enough money for one year. Traveling north to Chicago to live with her brothers, she heard stories from pilots returning from World War I and decided to become a pilot. After applying to 3 American aviation schools that refused to teach her, this smart, naturally-gifted “double threat” prepared to study in France. Learning enough French to get by, she enrolled in a French school, the only black person in the class. Finishing the 10-month course in 8 months, she achieved her goal.
Dressed in an authentic bomber’s jacket, boots and scarf, Dr. Daisy Century as Bessie Coleman is an exciting portrayal of a beautiful, determined woman who knew what she wanted and made it happen. Audience members thrill to tales of barnstorming and stunts with parachutes. Bessie inspires the audience to identify with a woman who risked everything to make her dream a reality. Performed as if standing on a wing of the plane, Bessie is a woman who never gave up, raised by a mother who told her that “these words don’t live here.” Daisy brings a pattern for the younger audience members to use to create their own plane. And she showcases a life that broke the mold, inspiring her audience to do the same.
Invite Bessie Coleman your event:
• Educational Programs: Program with Press Conference for Schools, Libraries, Museums and Historic Sites
• Pair with Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh
• Daisy Century: Bio of Actor/Historian, Reenactor, or Imper