(CBS DETROIT) – Chances are you’ve probably heard of Charles Lindberg or Amelia Earhart but there’s another aviation pioneer the Portage Air Zoo hopes will inspire you.

This week the museum celebrated the birthday of Bessie Coleman.

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Coleman was the first woman of African American descent and the first Native American to hold a pilot’s license.

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In 1921 she earned her pilot’s license in France and then returned to the U.S. and became a media sensation.

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“It really encouraged people, women and African Americans to live their dream, no matter where they come from, no matter what their background, to live out their dreams. She really was a remarkable woman. It’s just very important for us to understand our audience and to allow them to see themselves in our exhibit floor,” said Collections and Library Manager Christy Kincaid.

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