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7 Badass Trailblazers on the Road and in the Air

Get to know these badass trailblazers!

Bessie Coleman was the first Black American female pilot. Of mixed Native American and African American heritage, Bessie Smith was unable to take the licensing exam in the United States

because of discriminatory rules against Native Americans and Blacks in aviation. So, she took up a collection and went to Paris, France, where she earned an international license in 1921. She returned to the United States where she flew in air shows until her death in a plane crash in 1926.

Bessie Stringfield became the first Black woman to ride a motorcycle alone across the lower, connected forty-eight states. She took this trip alone eight times and served as the only Black civilian female motorcycle courier for the US Army during World War II.

Jill E. Brown was the first Black American woman commercial passenger airline pilot. She flew with Texas International Airlines.

Vernice Armour, USMC captain, was the first Black American female combat pilot in the US Armed Services. She flew an AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopter in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and served two additional tours during Operation Iraqi Freedom. She was also the first naval aviator pilot in any branch of the military!

Jeanine Menze was the first Black woman to earn a US. Coast Guard aviator designation.

First known Black American woman to reach both the North and South Poles: Barbara Hillary. At the age of seventy-five, this two-time cancer survivor successfully reached the North Pole, and she reached the South Pole at age seventy-nine. Badass!

Major Shawna Rochelle Kimbrell was the first Black American woman combat pilot in the United States Air Force. She flew an F-16 Fighting Falcon during Operation Northern Watch in Iraq.

-- A creator of safe spaces, and an initiator of difficult conversations, M.J. Fievre, B.S. Ed, spent much time building up her Black students, helping them feel comfortable in their skin, and affirming their identities. Her close relationships with parents and students led her to look more closely at how we can balance protecting our child’s innocence with preparing them for the realities of Black life. When―and how―do you approach racism with your children? How do you protect their physical and mental health while also preparing them for a country full of systemic racism? She began to research the issue and speak to school counselors and psychologists to find (and apply!) strategies parents and teachers can use with their children to broach uncomfortable but necessary topics.

M.J. is the author of Badass Black Girl, a daily dose of affirmations for Black Girls

“You'll come away from Badass Black Girl feeling as if you've known the author your entire life, and it's a rare feat for any writer.” ―“Mike, the Poet,” author of Dear Woman and The Boyfriend Book

#1 Gift Idea in Teen & Young Adult Cultural Heritage Biographies, Publishers Weekly Select Title for Young Readers

Affirmations for strong, fearless Black girls. Wisdom from Badass Black female trailblazers who accomplished remarkable things in literature, entertainment, education, STEM, business, military and government services, politics and law, activism, sports, spirituality, and more.

Explore the many facets of your identity through hundreds of big and small questions. In this journal designed for teenage Black girls, MJ Fievre tackles topics such as family and friends, school and careers, body image, and stereotypes. By reflecting on these topics, you will confront the issues that can hold you back from living your best life and discovering your Black girl bliss.

Embrace authenticity and celebrate who you are. Finding the courage to live as you are is not easy, so here’s a journal designed to help you nurture creativity, positive self-awareness and Black girl bliss. This journal honors the strength and spirit of Black girls.

Change the way you view the world. This journal provides words of encouragement that seek to inspire and ignite discussion. You are growing up in a world that tries to tell you how to look and act. MJ Fievre encourages you to fight the flow and determine for yourself who you want to be.

Badass Black Girl helps you to:

  • Build and boost your self-esteem with powerful affirmations

  • Learn more about yourself through insightful journaling

  • Become comfortable and confident in your authentic self


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