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Follow Your Dreams: The Bessie Coleman Story

Program Details

Follow Your Dreams: The Bessie Coleman Story

About Follow Your Dreams: The Bessie Coleman Story

Taped before a live audience at the historic Gem Theatre in Kansas City, Follow Your Dreams: The Bessie Coleman Story is about the first African-American Aviatrix (of record). The one-woman show was written and performed by Sandra P. Campbell of Kansas City. Bessie Coleman (1892-1926) grew up in poverty as the daughter of sharecroppers in a small Texas town. At age 21 she headed to Chicago in search of her dream to learn to fly. But, every flying school Coleman approached in the U.S. refused to admit her because she was both black and a woman. So, she had to travel across the ocean to France to realize her dream. During the 1920's Bessie was a barnstormer, parachutist, and stunt flyer. She earned international fame. She made appearances throughout the United States lecturing about opportunities in aviation for African Americans and fighting segregation laws. Coleman and her mechanic died in a plane crash in 1926 as she was practicing for an air show the following day. It was to be her last show before opening her own flying school.

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