In Honor of a High-Flying Icon: There’s A Bessie Coleman Barbie!

There’s a new landing ground for this late pioneer, and its part of Mattel’s Inspiring Women doll series.

Bessie Coleman, the first Black, Native American female aviator and first Black person to earn an international pilot’s license, has been honored by the Barbie toymaker with a doll in celebration of her January 26 birthday and ahead of Black History Month.

“The Inspiring Women series pays tribute to courageous women who paved the way for generations of girls to dream bigger than ever before,” Mattel Creations wrote of the doll’s description.

“Despite facing racial and gender discrimination, Bessie Coleman became the first Black and Native American female aviator. She also became the first Black person to earn an international pilot’s license. Sculpted to her likeness and wearing a traditional olive-green aviator suit, including a “BC”-initialed cap, this collectible Barbie doll honors a high-flying icon,” the description continued.


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According to CNN, Barbie partnered up with Bessie Coleman Aviation All-Stars, the nonprofit founded by Coleman’s great niece, Gigi Coleman.

“Keeping Bessie’s legacy alive has always been a labor of love for my family, and we are proud to recognize her determination and accomplishments for Black women in aviation and continue to share my great aunt’s pioneering spirit with fans of all ages,” Coleman’s great-niece said in a statement.

As previously reported by BLACK ENTERPRISE, Coleman was honored in 2022 by the first all-Black crew of American Airlines, in celebration of Coleman’s 100th anniversary of earning her pilot’s license.

Coleman earned her international pilot’s license in France before becoming a fully-fledged aviator dedicated to empowering Black women to learn how to fly.

The Bessie Coleman doll was designed by artist and designer Carlyle Nuera, with the face sculpting credited to Desiree/Adria.

The doll is available for purchase on the Mattel website, priced at $35.