Tagged As: Amelia Earhart, Aviatrix, Bessie Coleman, black pilots, female pilots | Categories: Podcasts | Comments Off
Tagged As: Aviatrix, Bessie Coleman, black pilots, female pilots | Categories: Uncategorized, shownotes | Comments Off
Amelia Earhart wasn’t the only American woman who soared into aviation history as she took her dreams to the sky. Bessie Coleman not only set aviation records of her own, but the story of her ascent above racial and gender barriers makes her a woman worthy of a long chat.
Bessie Coleman was born January 26, 1892 in Atlanta, Texas, the 10th child of George and Susan Coleman, both sharecroppers. George was part American Indian and proud of his ancestry but pride doesn’t put food on the table, does it? George and Susan scraped together enough money for a small plot and settled the family in Waxahachie, Texas. As the more elder of the Coleman children to survive childhood grew and moved out of the home, life never got easy for Bessie. We talk about Bessie’s childhood in the podcast, the slow path to an education that she had due to time away from school because of cotton harvest, the chores and responsibilities that she had and the impact of her father leaving the family for a life he thought would be more accepting of him in Oklahoma.
Susan wanted her children educated and helped encouraged them to make that happen as best she could. Once Bessie completed the eight grades available to her, she helped save and eventually registered at college.
Unfortunately her money ran out after only one semester and headed back to Waxahachie to work as a laundress for several years. But Bessie wanted more out of life and moved to Chicago to live with two of her older brothers. The bright lights and big promises of the city didn’t prove all that more life advancing than they did in Waxahachie- laundress? Again? Bessie saw her opening and enrolled in Burnham School of beauty and Culture where she quickly trained to be a manicurist. Badda bing, Bessie is working in a barber shop on the see and be seen area known as The Stroll.
When her brother John came back from World War I, he bragged about the amazing French women and teased Bessie that no African American woman could fly like a French woman.
With Wipe That Grin Off Your Face determination, Bessie set out to prove her brother wrong. (Such a strong motivator, isn’t it?) She had been bitten by the aviation bug while in Chicago, but she could not find any flight schools that would enroll her. Being both a woman and black was a double whammy.
So, she wants to fly.
She wants to show her brother that French women aren’t the only ones who can fly.
She does the most logical thing: she goes to France to learn to fly.
So it wasn’t quite that easy, and we cover so much more in the podcast but essentially that’s exactly what she does! (And does it a lot faster than Amelia even though they began taking lessons at about the same time.)
When Bessie returned to the US with her shiny new license and aviatrix skills ( and no plane of her own) she set off on the air show circuit. While she was skilled, mechanical error led to a crash. Barely alive with bones broken and injuries that kept her sidelined,she insisted that she would fly again.
Of course she did! But she still didn’t have a plane of her own. What she did have was a dream. Bessie Coleman wanted to help desegregate aviation. Wherever she toured she refused to fly if blacks were not allowed into the show, and she held tight to a dream of opening her own flight school. Traveling the country on borrowed planes she fundraised- speaking and creating ever more elaborate and patriotic shows she was a big draw for air shows.
On April 30, 1926 Bessie and a mechanic were test flying a plane. As part of her performance Bessie parachuted off the plane, and the two were scouting a location. Bessie, so that she could see over the edge for a perfect landing spot, was not wearing her seatbelt. At 3,000 feet up, the plane went into a nose dive and Bessie fell to her death. She was 33 years old.
In 1929 the Bessie Coleman Aero Club , a flight school named in her honor opened in Los Angeles.
TIME TRAVEL WITH THE HISTORY CHICKS
How did we miss this website? Get all your historical women gear (designed for kids but adult sizes available, too) A Mighty Girl. Maybe not exactly this doll though, unless that’s your thing, then here it is! You were looking for this!
Do not go here hungry! You were warned. The history of chili (and more…oh, so much more) What’s Cooking America
We know you are looking for this, all you runners, Marathon Du Medoc (Bordeaux Marathon). And here is a fun article about running it , good even if there is no chance of you ever attempting such an event! Food and Wine
Books! We only had a couple that we would recommend:
While surfing…er, following a lead we stumbled across this blog that has very little to do with Bessie Coleman (other than this post about an entry from her beauty school primer) but thought it too interesting to not add here: Bobby Pin Blog Vintage make-up and beauty instructions, anyone?
Our music is courtesy of Musicalley. Visit them at Music.mevio.com
Show outro music : “Dreamers” by The Hipstones
Tagged As: Adored Vintage, historical clothing, online shopping, Our Friend's Project, Vintage Fashion | Categories: Misc. Business, Uncategorized | 12 Comments
One of the best parts of our gig as History Chicks is getting to meet people through the podcast, website and social media pages. We met on a message board, so making friends online is nothing new to either of us, and it’s pretty sweet to be in a position to meet others with interests similar to our own.
Through the course of exchanged emails and private messages we have discovered that some of you are doing some really cool historically based projects or businesses that we admire. We thought that it would be fun to show them off. Some of the projects that we will share are focused on historical women and some will simply deal with anything in the past- but they are all run by listeners. This first one is both about women and the past ( and it, in a turn-your-head-and-squint way, ties in with a promise that we made a few months ago, so we will fulfill that now).
First up- let’s take a look at at topic that is near and dear to our hearts: historical fashion.
This is Rodellee Bas and her business is Adored Vintage.
From her website:
“A deep love for fashion and history bore the idea of ADORED VINTAGE, an online vintage clothing boutique for modern women that love fanciful and pretty things. Each vintage garment is hand selected for quality, beauty, and relevance to modern day fashion. We believe each garment bears a tale from its past and the women that chooses a vintage garment from our shop loves the idea of adding her own chapter to the story of a dress.”
Not only does she select beautiful garments and accessories ( both true vintage and inspired by) but the photography is, quite simply- lovely.
But the dresses! Oh! The dresses!
Her brick and mortar showroom is in downtown Long Beach, California, but we follow the beautiful vintage fashion show via her facebook page and website where you can fill your cart with beautiful pieces and have them delivered. If you are fortunate enough to be nearby, the showroom is open by appointment only or check out her once-a-month Vintage Sunday on the third Sunday of the month- it coincides with the Long Beach Flea Market (as if vintage fashion, and the beach wasn’t enough to draw you in).
We’ve been talking women in history with Rodellee for a bit and we can’t help but notice her History Chickness show through in some collection and garment titles. Each item has a clever title and recently she named a collection of garments in honor of Jane Austen. Of course, her one-of-a-kind items aren’t on the Adored Vintage site for long, so going back frequently to see what she has added that is new and available is such a hardship. (yeah…not really.)
AND (turn your head and squint now) speaking of Jane Austen and things formerly loved by others : we had promised to give away a couple of Beckett’s loved (read:used) copies of the parody novels Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (by Jane Austen and Seth Graham-Smith) and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadful ( by Steve Hockensmith). Just leave a comment on this post (using an email that we can contact you through) telling us WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE JANE AUSTEN HEROINE and you will be entered into a random drawing (both books, one winner) held on August 17th, 2013.
We will share more friends’ projects whenever the whim strikes us, but keep an eye out because- just like our ever growing and amazing list of historical women that we would like to discuss- we have a list for this, too!
One more link, just because- Adored Vintage.
Tagged As: Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort, Philippa Gregory, The Red Queen, The White Queen, Tudors | Categories: Podcasts | Comments Off
Tagged As: Elizabeth Woodville, Margaret Beaufort, Philippa Gregory, The White Queen, Tudors | Categories: Uncategorized, shownotes | 1 Comment
A year and a half ago we sat down to talk about Margaret Beaufort and Elizabeth Woodville. Since then a lot of you have joined us…and a lot of you are really excited about the television show The White Queen, which is based on the novel series THE COUSINS’ WAR, by Philippa Gregory. So are we! (So excited) (So very excited) Here in the good ol’ US of A the show begins on the Starz network on August 10th, 8 PM ET/PT, so we thought that this was a good time to brush up on the stories of the women who would become grandmothers to our favorite bad guy, Henry VIII.
Because we posted portraits on our original shownotes, we thought that getting the faces of the actresses playing the parts into our heads would be a good idea.
Starz has a very slick website (facebook page and twitter) for this show which makes talking about it with other fans really easy.
The shownotes from the original episode, including book recommendations, from our original posting are here: SHOWNOTES.
And if you are in the UK, you can watch entire episodes online here: BBC ONE
Tagged As: | Categories: Podcasts | Comments Off
Tagged As: | Categories: Podcasts | Comments Off
Tagged As: | Categories: Podcasts | 3 Comments