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Celebrating Black History

Did you know that Black History Month originated in 1926 by Carter Godwin Woodson as Negro History Week? The month of February was chosen in honor of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, who were both born in that month.

Since its inception in 1925, Black History Month has served the broad purpose of educating all Americans about the roles African-Americans have played in the history of the U.S. While many icons and legends of the movement have escaped the eyes of the public, we take a moment to journey through Black history to recognized and observe the legends that have paved the way.

Bessie Coleman: Pilot Project

Bessie Coleman was born into poverty and picked cotton to help support her family.

As World War I ended, her dream was to fly, but every flying school turned her down because of her gender and race.

Unbowed, she learned French and went to France, where she earned her international flying license, two years before Amelia Earhart. At the time, she was the only licensed black pilot in the world.

For the rest of her short life, she encouraged others to turn their dreams into reality. Sadly, she died in a crash while practicing for an air show in 1926.

There are 136-thousand pilots and navigators in the U.S. today, 3-and-1/2 percent of them female and just over one-half percent African-American.