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Bessie Coleman : first black woman pilot / Connie Plantz

Author:
Plantz, Connie  Search this
Subject:
Coleman, Bessie 1896-1926  Search this
Physical description:
119 p. : ill. ; 21 cm
Type:
Biography
Juvenile literature
Place:
United States
Date:
2001
C2001
Topic:
Air pilots  Search this
African American women air pilots  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_745077

Black Wings Exhibit and Book Collection

Topic:
Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation
Creator:
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.)  Search this
Hardesty, Von, 1939-  Search this
Names:
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.)  Search this
National Air and Space Museum -- Exhibitions  Search this
Extent:
13.38 Cubic feet (11 legal document boxes, 1 shoe box (5 x 8 inches), 6 records center boxes )
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Photographs
Date:
1917-2000
bulk 1981-1986
Summary:
This collection consists of background material collected in support of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM) exhibit "Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation" (opened in 1982) and its companion book (published 1983) by curators Von Hardesty and Dominick Pisano, a related symposium, educational materials, and a travelling version of the exhibit. The collection contains photographs and textual materials used in the exhibit and book, internal correspondence and memoranda, and a large amount of material gathered for research purposes but not used in any "Black Wings" production.
Scope and Contents:
The core of the collection covers activities of American Black aviators between 1917 and 1981, from Eugene Bullard's service as a pilot in World War I through the first Black astronauts assigned to the Space Shuttle program in the early 1980s. Curators Von Hardesty and Dominick Pisano and other Museum staff collected and generally grouped materials to fit the four chronological sections of the "Black Wings" exhibit and related book, with a strong emphasis on the stories of individual people.

Headwinds (1917-1939) covers pioneer fliers such as Bullard and Bessie Coleman; Black aviation activities in the Chicago and Los Angeles areas; early aviators and organizers including William J. Powell, Willa Brown, and Cornelius Coffey; and long distance flights by James Herman Banning and Thomas C. Allen, and C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson and Dr. Albert E. Forsythe.

Flight Lines (1939-1945) includes the 1939 flight of Dale L. White and Chauncey E. Spencer to Washington, D.C.; the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPT); the start of training of Black military pilots at Tuskegee Army Air Field during World War II; and training of the all-Black 477th Bombardment Group. This section and the next include U.S. Army Air Force documents and photography, and materials obtained from individual Tuskegee Airmen.

Wings for War (1943-1945) covers the experiences of the men of the 99th Fighter Squadron and later the 322nd Fighter Group, all-Black fighter units which participated in the Allied campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy during World War II, and their commander, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.

Era of Change (1945-1981), including many materials from the U.S. armed forces and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), covers the desegregation of the armed forces; military pilots' participation in the Korean and Vietnam wars (featuring William Earl Brown, Jr.; Daniel "Chappie" James, Jr.; Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.); general aviation (John W. Green, Jr.; Neal Loving); commercial aviation (Perry H. Young, Jr.; James O. Plinton, Jr.); and the U.S. space program, including not just the first Black astronauts (Guion S. Bluford, Jr.; Ronald E. McNair; Frederick D. Gregory; Charles F. Bolden) but many other NASA professional men and women from Project Mercury through the beginning of the Space Shuttle era.

Most of the material was photocopied from other sources such as books, newspapers, periodicals, and other archival collections, but many copy photographs and anecdotes were obtained from the aviators themselves (or their families), particularly those active in the 1930s and 1940s. The collection also contains internal Museum documents, notes, and memoranda regarding the development and implementation of the various "Black Wings" productions, including portions of exhibit scripts, book manuscripts, ephemera, and Museum photography taken at the exhibit opening and the symposium. Photographic formats include prints, copy prints, 4 x 5 inch black and white copy negatives and color transparencies, and 35mm copy slides. Quality of the photography is often fair to poor, as the copies are several generations removed from the original images.

The last six boxes of the collection (currently unprocessed) consists of material collected circa 2000 by curator Cathleen S. Lewis and Ian Cook (NASM Department of Space History) for a proposed update to the "Black Wings" exhibit. After it became clear that the exhibit was not going to be updated, Lewis transferred the material to the NASM Aeronautics Department, as Hardesty and Pisano were contemplating an update to the Black Wings book. This, too, failed to materialize, and the material was transferred to the NASM Archives in May 2018 to be added to the existing Black Wings Exhibit and Book Collection. This series was received by the Museum's Archives Division after the existing collection material had been scanned; it has not been scanned.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into six series. The first four roughly chronological series (Exhibit, Book, Educational Outreach, and Symposium) relate to the different "Black Wings" productions, and materials within each series often reflect the four-section groupings detailed in the Scope and Content note. The next series, Research Materials, has four sub-series: Biographical Files (alphabetical by last name), Subject Files and Study Materials (alphabetical by subject), Photographic Negatives, and Photographic Prints and Illustrations. The last series houses later additions to the collection which are currently unprocessed. Materials within folders are predominantly photocopies (xerographs) and often include numerous duplicates, many unlabeled, and in no specific order. Materials relating to an exhibit often include a NASM Exhibits Department reference number (example: SE:13-L73-P58 to P59) indicating the exhibit number (13), label number (L73), and position within the exhibit (P58 to P59). Some materials are not visible online due to copyright restrictions.
Biographical / Historical:
On September 23, 1982, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM) exhibit "Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation" opened as part of the existing "Pioneers of Aviation" exhibit located in Gallery 208 of the museum's National Mall Building in Washington, D.C. The exhibit was dedicated to the American Black Aviator, who anonymously played a historic role in shaping the growth of modern aviation. "Black Wings" encompasses the men and women who had to overcome enormous social pressures in order to gain the right to pursue the dream of flight in both civilian, military, and commercial circles. The exhibit generated much public and media interest, and inspired the Museum to sponsor a symposium on February 25, 1983, entitled "The American Black in Aviation, A Decade of Change: 1939-1949," (working title: "Tuskegee Airmen at War") featuring presentations by historians and U. S. Army Air Forces veterans including Noel F. Parrish (Commander, Tuskegee Army Air Field, 1942-1946), George F. Roberts (Commander, 99th Fighter Squadron, September 1943 to April 1944), and pilots Lewis A. Jackson, Elwood T. Driver, and Louis R. Purnell. In conjunction with the exhibit, the Museum, working with Sid Aaronson Films, Inc., produced a set of sound filmstrip packages designed for elementary and secondary school use. In 1983, the Smithsonian Institution Press published a companion book, Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation, authored by the exhibit's curators, Von Hardesty and Dominick Pisano; a second edition was issued the following year as part of the Smithsonian History of Aviation and Spaceflight series. A Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Service (SITES) version of the exhibit began circulating to other museums and venues in June 1983, and a expanded version of the SITES exhibit (featuring additional artifacts, photography, and audio-visual materials) was displayed April 1 to August 5, 1984, at the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum (later know as the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum) in Washington, D.C. The original NASM "Black Wings" exhibit—with occasional updates—remained on display in the "Pioneers of Flight" gallery (later renamed the "Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery") until 2019 when the gallery was closed due to renovations to the Museum's National Mall Building.
Related Materials:
"Black Wings: African American Pioneer Aviators" NASM Website Collection, NASM.2004.0026 [finding aid not available online]
Provenance:
National Air and Space Museum (NASM) Department of Aeronautics, Transfer, 1993, NASM.1993.0060; additional material transferred from NASM Department of Space History, 2018
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
aeronautics, civil  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Air pilots  Search this
Women air pilots  Search this
Women in aeronautics  Search this
African American air pilots  Search this
African American women air pilots  Search this
Women in technology  Search this
Astronauts  Search this
Astronautics  Search this
United States Air Force  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Blacks -- United States  Search this
Korean War, 1950-1953  Search this
Vietnam War  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Photographs
Citation:
Black Wings Exhibit and Book Collection, Acc. NASM.1993.0060, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1993.0060
See more items in:
Black Wings Exhibit and Book Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/pg27c62d0c6-784f-4db6-9a31-26160b8635a1
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1993-0060
Online Media:

Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation Narration

Creator:
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum  Search this
National Air and Space Museum  Search this
Names:
Anacostia Community Museum  Search this
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum  Search this
Collection Creator:
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.)  Search this
Extent:
4 Sound recordings (open reel, 1/4 inch)
Culture:
African American  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Narration
Place:
Anacostia (Washington, D.C.)
Washington (D.C.)
United States
Date:
circa 1984
Scope and Contents:
The narrator provides history of black men and women in aviation.
Narration or voice over with music. Part of Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation Audiovisual Records. Consistent beeps throughout several of the recordings. Some of the recordings contain some of the same content. Undated.
Biographical / Historical:
The exhibition, Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation, profiled the men and women who had to overcome enormous social pressures in order to gain the right to pursue the dream of flight in both military and civilian circles. The exhibition, originally created and displayed at the National Air and Space Museum, was dedicated to the American Black Aviator, who has anonymously played a historic role in shaping the growth of modern aviation. See an expanded version of the exhibition circulated by SITES, including among its additional artifacts photo murals and audio-visual programs, and the flight suit worn by black astronaut Guion Bluford during preparations for his 1983 space shuttle flight. The SITES exhibition is divided into four parts: Headwinds, the black pioneers of World War I and the early 1920s; Flight Lines, the changing role of blacks in the 1930s and '40s; Wings for War, black involvement in World War II; and Era of Change, their breakthroughs in commercial aviation after World War II. The collection, Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation Audiovisual Records, contains the audiovisual materials created when the exhibit was borrowed and adapted for exhibit at the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum from April 1, 1984 - August 5, 1984.
Local Numbers:
ACMA AV003453-2

ACMA AV003455

ACMA AV003507
Series Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Some items are not accessible due to obsolete format and playback machinery restrictions. Please contact the archivist at acmarchives@si.edu.
Topic:
African Americans  Search this
Air pilots  Search this
African American air pilots  Search this
African American women air pilots  Search this
Women air pilots  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Museum exhibits  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Narration
Citation:
Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation Narration, Exhibition Records AV03-016, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
ACMA.03-016, Item ACMA AV003453-1
See more items in:
Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation exhibition records
Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation exhibition records / Series ACMA AV03-016: Black Wings: The American Black in Aviation audiovisual records
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/qa7b114edd5-79e7-49c0-bfa7-3ee0d088709e
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-03-016-ref505

Won't take no for an answer! : the story of aviation pioneer Bessie Coleman / by Suzanne Moyers

Author:
Moyers, Suzanne  Search this
Subject:
Coleman, Bessie 1896-1926  Search this
Physical description:
32 p. : ill., ports. ; 23 cm
Type:
Biography
Juvenile literature
Place:
United States
Date:
2007
C2007
Topic:
African American women air pilots  Search this
Air pilots  Search this
African Americans in aeronautics--History  Search this
Call number:
TL540.C646 M69 2007
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_829605

Soaring above setbacks : the autobiography of Janet Harmon Bragg, African American aviator / as told to Marjorie M. Kriz

Author:
Bragg, Janet Harmon 1907-1993  Search this
Kriz, Marjorie M  Search this
Subject:
Bragg, Janet Harmon 1907-1993 Biography  Search this
Physical description:
xxi, 120 p., [6] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1996
C1996
Topic:
African American women air pilots--Biography  Search this
Call number:
CT275.B78983 A1 1997
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_503762

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