Born to a sharecropping family in northeast Texas in 1892, Bessie Coleman became the world's first African American woman, and the first person of Native American descent, to hold a pilot's license. Her daredevil feats in air shows captivated crowds and earned her the nickname "Brave Bessie." An advocate for equal rights, Coleman encouraged young African Americans to fly, and she refused to participate in air shows that disallowed Black attendance. In 1929, a flying school for African American aviators was founded in her honor in Los Angeles, ensuring her legacy as a pioneer in aviation and civil rights. Earlier this year, the U.S. Mint celebrated Coleman’s achievements by featuring her on a new quarter design as part of their "American Women Quarters Program." More»

2023 American Women Quarters Bessie Coleman coin. U.S. Mint.