Vernie Merze Tate was born to Charles & Myrtle K. (Lett) Tate February 6, 1905 in Blanchard, Michigan. Born on her family’s farm in rural Isabella County, as a child Merze walked nine miles to school, time which she spent memorizing poetry or historic battles. Both her maternal and paternal great grandparents were some of the first African American families that settled in the area, coming from Ohio in response to the Homestead Act of 1862. Consequently, Merze grew up with all white classmates and friends in a world that would not always treat Merze, because of her gender as well as her race, with the full respect she deserved. Continue reading Dr. Merze Tate
Bessie Coleman was the first African American female pilot; known as ‘Brave Bessie’ she was determined to achieve her dreams despite the obstacles in her way.
Bessie was born in 1892 in Atlanta, Texas; a time and a place where being black made life very difficult. Black and white children were not allowed to go to the same school so Bessie had to walk four miles every day just to get to the school that was for the black children. Each year her learning would be interrupted in the summer when she had to work in the cotton fields with her family at harvest time. Despite all this, she thrived at school, reading all she could and excelling at maths.