William J. Powell led a small group of black air enthusiasts in Los Angeles during the 1920s. He established the Bessie Coleman Flying Club and sponsored the first all-black air show.
He called for the full participation of African Americans in aviation as pilots, mechanics, and business leaders. To achieve this end, he wrote his visionary book, Black Wings, produced a documentary film, and worked tirelessly to mobilize African American youth for aviation.
Image Number: SI-99-15417
Credit: National Air and Space Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution
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