Josephine Baker is mainly remembered for her erotic and provocative dances, vaudeville routines, and appearances in films. However her efforts to fight the tyranny of Fascism have received very little attention.
She was born as Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri. Her mother, Carrie, was adopted in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1886 by Richard and Elvira McDonald, both of whom were former slaves of African and Native American descent. Her career began with blackface comedy at local clubs. her mother did not approve of this type of “entertainment” .But it was because of these performances Josephine had an opportunity to tour in Paris, which would become the place she called home until her final days.
Her performance in the revue Un vent de folie in 1927 caused a sensation in the city. Her costume, consisting of only a short skirt of artificial bananas and a beaded necklace, became an…
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