A Black youngster is displaying the power and importance of representation. At the age of four Noa was exposed to the legacy of aviator Bessie Coleman through an episode of the animated series Doc McStuffins and has made the effort to learn more about her historic contributions. When asked by her second grade teacher to do a project about Amelia Earhart, she decided to highlight Coleman instead, Because of Them We Can reported.
Noa and her classmates were tasked with doing history projects about influential figures from different time periods. They had to complete written reports and dress up as the individuals they wrote about for the school’s Wax Museum exhibit. Noa went above and beyond with her project and with the assistance of her parents contacted The National Aviation Hall of Fame and the National Women’s Hall of Fame who provided her with relics to use for her presentation. Cognizant of the influence that Coleman’s journey has had on Noa, the National Aviation Hall of Fame arranged for the second-grader to meet Bessie Coleman’s great-niece Gigi Coleman in-person. The organization flew the family out to Ohio for Coleman’s show which was a part of the Air Force Museum Foundation’s Living History Series.
“I want other kids to know that at times it’s not just an assignment, but it could be something that could change your life,” Noa’s mother Moniqua told the news outlet.
Born in 1892, Bessie Coleman was the first Black woman to earn a pilot license. Since there were no flight training opportunities for women and people of color in the United States she saved her money to study aviation in France. The Texas native got her international pilot license in 1921. She aspired to open up an educational facility for Black fliers. She died in 1926 at the age of 34 in a plane crash. Coleman was the epitome of a barrier breaker and her legacy lives on through individuals like Noa who have become students of her journey.
Check out Noa’s Wax Museum project below.