Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Google is celebrating what would have been the 125th birthday of pioneering pilot Bessie Coleman with a new Doodle Thursday.
Google's homepage features animated artwork with Coleman's likeness in full pilot gear as wind blows across her face. The Google logo is spelled out using vapor trails from a collection of looping biplanes.
As the internet giant explains, Coleman was determined to attend aviation school during a time in the United States when African Americans and women weren't allowed to fly planes.
"At age 23, Coleman moved to Chicago where she worked two jobs in an effort to save enough money to enroll in aviation school. After working for five years, she moved to Paris to study, as no school in America would admit her due to her race and gender. Just a year later, Coleman became the first female pilot of African-American and Native American descent, and the first to earn an international aviation license from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale," Google writes of her accomplishments.
After wanting to become to a stunt pilot, Coleman was forced again to study abroad in Europe after a stunt training program in the United States denied her.
"Returning to the US, Coleman excelled at exhibition flying, performing complex stunts in flight for packed audiences. It was during this time that she acquired the nickname "Queen Bessie," Google continues.
Coleman continued to wow audiences with her complex aerial stunts until an equipment failure led to her death at age 34.
"Although Coleman didn't live to fulfill her ultimate dream of starting an aviation school to train people of color, she inspired a generation. As Lieutenant William J. Powell writes, "Because of Bessie Coleman, we have overcome that which was worse than racial barriers. We have overcome the barriers within ourselves and dared to dream," Google notes.