Recorded or Rendered Work - Performance

Bessie and Ma

Douglas Buchanan, Caitlin Vincent

200 Miles to Arnstadt Publications | Published : 2019

Abstract

Using the operatic genre as a platform, Bessie and Ma tells the story of two trailblazing figures from the early 20th century—Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman, the first female African-American aviator, and Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, the first female governor of Texas. Born in Atlanta, Texas in 1893, Bessie Coleman faced significant financial and racial obstacles in her effort to become a pilot. Rejected from every American flying school due to either her sex or skin colour, she was ultimately admitted to France’s most famous flying school and successfully earned her pilot’s license in 1921. Nicknamed “Queen Bess” and “Daredevil Aviatrix,” Bessie returned to the United States in 1922 and embarked on..

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University of Melbourne Researchers