Bessie Coleman: Race and Gender Realities Behind Aviation Dreams

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2005-01-01
Authors
Bix, Amy
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Abstract

OVER THE FIRST THREE DECADES FOLLOWING THE WRIGHT BROTHERS ’ TRIUMPH AT KITTY HAWK, AMERICANS ACROSS RACIAL AND GENDER LINES BECAME FASCINATED by the rich possibilities of flight. Especially after World War I (WWI), ordinary men and women were enraptured by what historian Joseph Corn has called “the gospel of aviation,” popular fascination with the marvelous, even magical, implications of flying. Many thrilled to the sense of leaving behind Earthbound limits, exploring suggestions that aviation had the power to cure disease, avert wars, and literally bring human beings closer to heaven.

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This is a book chapter from Realizing the Dream of Flight (2005): 1. Posted with permission.

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