willa-brown

Willa Brown, 1906-1992

Willa Brown, 1906-1992

Willa Brown, 1906-1992
Willa Beatrice Brown was a lifelong advocate for gender and racial equality in the fields of aviation and the military. Brown started her aviation career in 1934, studying at Chicago’s racially segregated Harlem Field. Brown was a pioneer, in 1938 being the first African American to earn a pilot’s license then a commercial pilot’s license in 1939, and the first African American officer in the Civil Air Patrol. She lobbied the US government to integrate the US Army Air Corps and include African Americans in the Civilian Pilot Training Program. With Cornelius Coffey, she co-founded the Coffey School of Aeronautics where she trained pilots, nearly two hundred of whom went on to become Tuskegee Airmen. In 1946, Brown was the first African American woman to run for Congress, focusing her campaign to improve the opportunities for African Americans.

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  1. Willa Brown, 1906-1992
    Willa Beatrice Brown was a lifelong advocate for gender and racial equality in the fields of aviation and the military. Brown started her aviation career in 1934, studying at Chicago’s racially segregated Harlem Field. Brown was a pioneer, in 1938 being the first African American to earn a pilot’s license then a commercial pilot’s license in 1939, and the first African American officer in the Civil Air Patrol. She lobbied the US government to integrate the US Army Air Corps and include African Americans in the Civilian Pilot Training Program. With Cornelius Coffey, she co-founded the Coffey School of Aeronautics where she trained pilots, nearly two hundred of whom went on to become Tuskegee Airmen. In 1946, Brown was the first African American woman to run for Congress, focusing her campaign to improve the opportunities for African Americans.

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