I have decided to put out posts recognizing African Americans from all walks of life in honor of Black History Month.
Today I wanted to honor African American pilots.
In my research, I found that there is a new face among the early minority pilots.
Per a Smithsonian article, “The Unrecognized First,” Emory C. Malik is now the first licensed African American pilot, obtaining his pilot’s license in March 1912.
This moves Eugene Jacques Bullard, who had been considered the first African American male pilot, to a different first. He is considered to be the first African American military pilot having graduated from flight training with the French military on May 5th, 1917. You can read more about him in the article, “The Black Swallow of Death,” from militaryhistorynow.com.
And the first African American woman pilot was Bessie Coleman who also earned her license in France in 1922. Of these three “firsts”, She was the only one who died as a result of an airplane accident. You can find more about her in this article from biography.com, “Bessie Coleman.”
Although perhaps the most famous African American pilots are the Tuskegee Airmen. You can learn more of their history in the history section of their webpage, “Tuskegee Airmen History.”
Tomorrow: First African American Game Designer!