Josephine Baker, Hero
December 10, 2017 11:49 AM   Subscribe

Dancer, French Resistance spy, Philanthropist, Civil Rights activist: she did it all. Her story is full of astonishing events. The main link is a good overview with some good videos, illustrating her spoofing stereotypes of "savages" and her comedic style. Then there's her cheetah, her rainbow tribe, her secret messages, her castle, her speech at the Washington March with Dr. King, her honors from the French government, and more. This next link is from a magazine for teenagers but the story on Ms. Baker is well done with a few details not in the main link. Hero

And this last link is from Vogue's perspective on her fashion on the occasion of what would have been Ms. Baker's 110th birthday. Fashion

The one thing I learned about her that I didn't already know is that she created and sold "Bakerskin," a skin dye for darkening whites.

Somehow, in the 1950s South I became a fan of Josephine Baker and am glad to see that she hasn't been forgotten.
posted by MovableBookLady (5 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 1:25 PM on December 10, 2017

I really liked Lynn Whitfield in "The Josephine Baker Story."

And there's "Chasing a Rainbow: The Life of Josephine Baker," sorry I couldn't find a better copy.
posted by Marky at 1:40 PM on December 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

"Jazz Cleopatra", is a book about Ms. Baker. It was given to some years ago and was my introduction to Ms. B. I fell in love with her. I can't wait to watch Marky's contributions.
posted by james33 at 3:59 AM on December 11, 2017

If you ever get the chance, her former home in the Dordogne is well worth a visit. It's a wonderful place in its own right, but when you add in all the memorabilia, it's incredible. It also includes the heart-breaking photo of her sitting on the doorstep after she was kicked out of the place and had nowhere to go following money troubles. An incredible life, lived amazingly.
posted by YoungStencil at 11:05 AM on December 11, 2017

Thanks for this post! I knew she was amazing, but I didn't know a lot of these details.
posted by homunculus at 11:12 AM on December 11, 2017

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