On Saturday, March 12, the International Women’s Air & Space Museum will celebrate the achievements of Bessie Coleman, the first African American woman to earn a pilot’s license, at the museum’s sixth annual free family day. The free event is open to the public and will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Parking is available in the Burke Lakefront Airport terminal municipal parking lot. Support for this year’s Family Day is provided by Dollar Bank, Dominion, Cleveland Women’s Journal and Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.
The museum will be celebrating Women’s History Month throughout the day and will give visitors the opportunity to learn about Bessie Coleman’s struggles and triumphs. Coleman learned to fly in France when she couldn’t find a flight school in the United States that would take her on as a student because of her race and gender. Coleman returned to the U.S. and began a career as a barnstormer and lecturer before her tragic death in 1926.
The museum will offer a variety of hands-on activities, including a recreated sharecropper’s house and a “Learn French” booth where children will decipher a message from Bessie written in French. Members of the Bessie Coleman Foundation plan to be on hand as the museum unveils an updated permanent Bessie Coleman exhibit. Free activities will also be provided by several area organizations, including Women in History, who will be doing a Bessie Coleman presentation and Karamu House’s African drum and dance ensemble.
For more information: 216-623-1111 or IWASM.org