Free Feb 13-17: Ebook About Bessie Coleman, First Black Woman Aviator

Posted on February 13, 2017 at 6:00 am

In honor of Black History Month — John Holway’s fascinating ebook about Bessie Coleman, the first place woman aviator, is FREE February 13-17, 2017. Enjoy!

Copyright Miniver Press 2014

Back in the 1920s planes were made of wood and cloth held together with wire. And back then everyone knew blacks couldn’t fly, and neither could women. But this spunky black woman from the cotton fields of Texas did loops above the Eiffel Tower, walked on wings above America, and jumped off planes to the oohs and gasps of crowds.

Bessie could also do a mean Charleston on the dance floor while guys lined up on both sides of the Atlantic. Her admirers included France’s top World War I ace, an African prince, a Florida millionaire, Chicago’s top black newspaperman, and its top black gangster.

She survived broken bones and some broken hearts. She was the first person, man or woman, to open the skies to black pilots. She helped open grandstands on the ground as well, refusing to perform unless everyone could buy a ticket.

She inspired generations of flyers. After years of neglect, she has at last been recognized as one of the leading figures in aviation, African-American, and women’s history.

Tributes include a postage stamp, a street named for her at O’Hare airport, and her photo tucked into a spacesuit worn by the first black woman astronaut as she flew on the space shuttle.

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Bessie Coleman: Pioneering Black Woman Aviator

Posted on September 3, 2012 at 6:02 pm

I am delighted that the small publishing firm I founded, Miniver Press, has produced our first Kindle ebook.  Today, on the anniversary of the first public flight of a black woman in the United States on this date 90 years ago, John B. Holway’s new book about Bessie Coleman is available for 99 cents. Bessie Coleman: Pioneering Black Woman Aviator is the story of a young woman from the cotton fields of Texas, half African-American and half Cherokee, who was told that the brand-new skill of flying was beyond the capacity of women and minorities.  When no one in the US would teach her to fly, she learned French and went to France to attend flight school.  When promoters told her that only white people could buy tickets to see her barnstorming shows, she told them they had to sell tickets to everyone.  She was romanced by a gangster, a prince, and the heir to a chewing gum fortune.  And no one knows if the plane crash that killed her was an accident or premeditated murder.

It is an amazing story, and it is thrillingly told by John Holway, author of many books about 20th century figures.  His book about the Tuskegee Airmen was the basis for the George Lucas film, “Red Tails.”  Coming soon from Miniver Press is a fascinating book by an insider about the recording of the Beatles’ first single, “Love Me Do,” in time for the 50th anniversary of the song’s release on October 5, 1962.  And I’ve got a new series called “Must-See Movies,” with the first three coming out before the end of September.  Stay tuned!

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