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Josephine Baker (6-3-06 to 4-12-75) was an American-born French dancer, singer, and actress. Born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri, she became a citizen of France in 1937. Fluent in both English and French, Baker became an international musical and political icon. She is also noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States, for assisting the French Resistance during World War II, and for receiving the French military honor, the Croix de guerre.
During World War II, Josephine Baker served with the French Red Cross and was an active member of the French resistance movement. Using her career as a cover, Baker became an intelligence agent, carrying secret messages written in invisible ink on her sheet music. She was awarded the honor of the Croix de Guerre, and received a Medal of the Resistance in 1946.
"Surely the day will come when color means nothing more than the skin tone, when religion is seen uniquely as a way to speak one's soul; when birth places have the weight of a throw of the dice and all men are born free, when understanding breeds love and brotherhood." -Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker in Paris qui remue, 1930 by Black History Album, via Flickr
"This Is My Share," American Red Cross 1944 War Fund Pamphlet by The Nite Tripper