Thursday, March 21, 2013

eBook: Bessie Coleman: Flying the Blues

Bessie Coleman: Flying the Blues - New eBook Chronicles Life & Career of First Black Woman to Earn Pilot’s License.

Capturing the attention of the world with her hair-raising stunt flying, parachuting and barnstorming, Bessie Coleman also bridged a pivotal civil rights gap by becoming the first African American woman to earn a recognized pilot’s license. Following new and diligent research by Opio Sokoni, Coleman’s life and its impact on aviation is depicted as never seen before.

For Immediate Release

Jacksonville, FL As she proved throughout her sky-high career, Bessie Coleman was unstoppable. When U.S. flying schools refused to allow her entry, she quickly learned French and departed for France, gaining her pilot’s license from the coveted Caudron Brother’s School of Aviation in just seven months.

In a powerful new book researched and compiled by Opio Sokoni, Bessie’s life and career is brought back into the spotlight for the current generation to enjoy and appreciate.

‘Bessie Coleman: Flying the Blues’ proves that determination and passion is stronger than any of society’s constraints.


Flying the Blues" takes a look at the times of the roaring twenties in the United States through the life of pioneering aviatrix Bessie Coleman. She was admired by the women and men of her day in aviatrix because of her death defying skills as an airshow barnstormer. She was the first American woman to receive an international pilot’s license and first African American to receive a pilots license. Her influence reached beyond race and gender. She inspired Amelia Earhart who came after Bessie.

Coleman died in 1926 in a plane crash one day before an airshow she was to headline in Jacksonville, Florida. Coleman's dream of opening a school inspired her followers to form the schools that lead to the training of the famed World War II black pilots called the Tuskegee Airmen. This book is the most thorough research done into the life and circumstances of this American female pioneer in the field of aeronautics.

Finally, this ebook captures race and Bessie's connection to the hugely popular Blues and Jazz music genres.

As the author explains, Coleman remains a celebrated figure during the annual Black History Month.

“Bessie Coleman’s remarkable story of courage and achievement is still celebrated every February. She is hugely popular among aeronautics enthusiasts and is cherished by those who fought hard during the Women’s and Civil Rights Movements,” says Sokoni.

Continuing, “She was one of the first pioneers to break down social barriers and confront an issue that many at the time kept quiet. Not only was it rare for a woman to become a pilot, but the fact she was an African American woman made her achievements all the more important.”

As a renowned political commentator, Sokoni had good reason to teach the world about Bessie Coleman.

“Bessie died in my hometown of Jacksonville, Florida and there has been nothing named in her honor. Amelia Earhart and the Wright brothers have streets in this city named after them, but not Bessie, who has a closer tie to Jacksonville than either of them,” he adds.

The book has also inspired an entertaining and informative documentary surrounding Coleman’s life. Proving popular with internet audiences, the film can be accessed here:

‘Bessie Coleman: Flying the Blues’ is available now: and on

About the author:
Opio is a political commentator and founder of Poli-Tainment, Inc., a non-profit organization which uses various forms of entertainment to educate the public about important issues. He is also a documentary filmmaker whose subjects are media images, Hip Hop and meth addiction. Mr. Sokoni’s writings include books about the Seminole Wars, the plight of black police officers and a history about black music genres created in the United States. Opio has a BA in political science from Norfolk State University, a masters in criminal justice from the University of North Florida and a law degree from Howard University. He resides in Jacksonville, Florida.

Contact: Opio Sokoni / 904-422-6078 /

Video: Bessie Coleman: Flying the Blues

Part 1

Part 2