Miss Baker

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Josephine Baker At the age of 13, she headed to New York City from St. Louis To be part of a Chorus Vaudeville show. Later secured a role in the chorus line of a touring production of Broadway revue in 1921. To stand out from the other dancers, she introduces a bit of comedy into her routine. Aged 19 she sailed to Paris in 1925, and opened on 2 October in La Revue Nègre at Theatre des she became an instant success for her erotic dancing, and appearing nude onstage. The costume was that is most famous is a short skirt covered with artificial bananas and large beaded necklace, crating her into an iconic image that symbol Jazz Age and Roaring Twenties. Becoming famous first in France in the twenties and one of the first black women from the USA to appear in a move 1927 silent film Siren of the Tropics made in Paris.

1939 France declared war on Germany. She was recruited by French military intelligence agency for French counterintelligence being a socialite, she had contact with Germans embassies and other ministries through nightclubs and charm. She attended parties and gathered information at the embassy without suspicion. Awarded the Resistance Medal by General Charles de Gaull.

In 1951, she was invited back to the United States for a nightclub engagement in Miami to sold out run at the club with a national tour. Only after winning the case of desegregation over the club’s audience. In 1968 offered the official leadership in the movement by Coretta Scott King in the United States after Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, she declined for concern of her children safety.

This woman was amazing.

Chris Dale

Date of birth: Freda Josephine McDonald, 3 June 1906 St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.

Date of death: January 29, 2006 12 April 1975 (aged 68) Paris, France

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