The following document presents an overview of three distinct and influential African American pilots from the 1920's and 1930's era. Following World War I and II, many African American men and women began to dream of become pilots. Unfortunately, the situation in the United States did not allow for these dreams to become manifest in reality. During the 1920's, there was not one single flight school in the country that would admit an African American student. For this reason, black aviation history was stifled from the very beginning of man's movement towards flight. This document will highlight three young African Americans that pushed the boundaries of racial oppression and social inequalities.
Certainly the obstacles that the first African American aviators faced were great. From poor education, to little social support, some black pilots even began to look to outside nations for pilot training. One such aviator was Bessie Coleman, the first African American to become a licensed pilot in 1922.
[...] The following section will outline the biographies of three of these great African American aviators: Elizabeth Coleman, James Herman Banning and General Benjamin O. Davis. This section will also highlight their life stories, the obstacles they overcame on the path towards aviation, as well as the successes and accomplishments of their dynamic lives. It will also expound upon the legacy that these black aviators left for following generations of pilots to come. Elizabeth Coleman Known as “Queen this African American aviation pioneer was born on January in Atlanta, Texas. [...]
[...] This event, funded by Abott and the Chicago Defender newspaper, was set to honor the veterans of the all-African American 369th American Expeditionary Force from World War I. The event heralded Bessie as "the world's greatest woman flyer,” and in this show, Bessie lived up to the title, delivering a shocking display in her Curtiss JN-4 biplane, a type of aircraft used in World War I. Her show included many daredevil flight maneuvers like figure eights, near-ground dips and spectacular loops. [...]
[...] James Herman Banning James Banning was the first back male pilot, and the first African American aviator to be given a pilot's license from the U. S. Department of Commerce. Banning was the son of Riley and Cora Banning, born on November in a small town in the state of Oklahoma. The family of four children later transferred to Ames, and in 1919 in Iowa, James decided to study electrical engineering at the local State College. This detail lead him to become what he called, “air-minded,” and his fervor for flight took off, although he admitted to have boyhood dreams of becoming a pilot. [...]
[...] After the Air Force integrated in 1949, there were still only 375 black officers ( of the total number officers). Currently, and certainly due to many of his efforts, there are over 5,000 African American officers in the Air Force, (an estimated six % of the total.) Certainly, his work should take much credit for the opportunities now afforded to black men and women in the US Air Force. Bibliography Some Notable Women In Aviation History". Women in Aviation International. Retrieved 2008-04-10. [...]
[...] This club, founded by the aforementioned forefather of African American aviation, William Powell, was a turning point for many black pilots such as Banning. Powell believed that sky would give the Negro a door into freedom.” Banning worked with Powell and the Aero club to raise funds for students to study aviation, as well as for airplane manufacturing and air services. Banning also acted as a “demonstration pilot” for the Hummingbird biplane he named "Miss Ames.” He used this plane to perform at a variety of air-shows, as well as for delivering mail. [...]
APA Style referenceFor your bibliography
Online readingwith our online reader
Content validatedby our reading committee