Thursday, April 18, 2013

Bessie Coleman's Funerals In Jacksonville, Florida

           Bessie Coleman was invited to Jacksonville by the Negro Welfare League. Thousands of people in Jacksonville were going to enjoy their May 1st 1926 sponsored airshow. However, a day before the event, Bessie was leaning over her airplane checking out the field below while her assistant piloted the plan. The plane jerked downward throwing Bessie from the plane. She fell 2,000 feet to her death. Her body was taken to the Lawton L. Pratt funeral home. There were thousands of mourners at two funerals held for her here in Jacksonville. One service was held for Bessie at the Bethel Baptist Institutional Church of Jacksonville. Minister Reverend Scott Bartley, Reverend T.H.B. Walker and Reverend John E. Ford presided over the massive funeral. A second service was held for her in the city at the St. Philips Episcopal Church on Union Street then lead by Reverend Parchment. Other funerals were held for her in Orlando and in Chicago where over 15,000 mourners filed pass her casket.

See Bessie Coleman: Flying the Blues


Songs Sung at Bessie Coleman's Funerals

Jesus Savior Pilot Me

I've Done My Work(Bessie's Favorite Gospel Song)

Verse 1.
I've done my work, I've sung my song,
I've done some good, I've done some wrong,
And I shall go where I belong;
The Lord has willed it so.
He knows my heart and ev'ry thought,
He knows what pain and joy I've brought;
And by His love I shall be taught
The way to Him I know.

Verse 2.
He knows my soul so weak and blind,
So full of fears of mortal mind,
And He will lead, and I shall find
The way to Him, I know.
He guides my steps, and He knows best,
He will not harm where He is blessed.
And so goodnight, I'll take my rest,
Where sweet wild roses grow.


  Bethel Baptist Institutional Church of Jacksonville


 St. Philips Episcopal Church 

Fr. Hugh Chapman is the current Rector 

St. Philips Episcopal Church Record of Leadership

St. Philips Episcopal Church


Rev. John E. Ford was the pastor and presided over Bessie Coleman's Funeral 


             "Bessie Coleman 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 pilots license. Because of her race in the Jim Crow era, Bessie had to go to France to receive training. 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 trained 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. Bessie Coleman remains a celebrated figure during Black History Month and she is hugely popular among aeronautics enthusiasts. Finally, this ebook captures race and Bessie's connection to the hugely popular Blues and Jazz music genres.

             Bessie Coleman was the first African American to earn a pilot's license. She taught herself French and moved to France in order to earn a license. Her international license came from France's well-known Caudron Brother's School of Aviation in just seven months. She specialized in aerial tricks, stunt flying and parachuting. This is how she made a living as a barnstormer around the United States and France. She remains a pioneer in the field of aviation.

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