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Josephine Baker (1906-1975) She first danced for the public on the streets of St. Louis for nickels & dimes. She became a chorus girl on the St. Louis stage. At 15 she married a Pullman porter named Baker, but left him when she ran away at age 17, because of racial discrimination. She made her way to Paris, France. In 1937 she had renounced her American citizenship, disgusted by the blatant & official racism against blacks, & became a citizen of France
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.
“One day I realized I was living in a country where I was afraid to be black. It was only a country for white people. Not black. So I left. I had been suffocating in the United States… A lot of us left, not because we wanted to leave, but because we couldn’t stand it anymore… I felt liberated in Paris.” — Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker. Josephine grew up cleaning houses and babysitting for wealthy white families who reminded her "be sure not to kiss the baby." She became famous for barely-there dresses and no-holds-barred dance routines, her exotic beauty generated nicknames "Black Venus," "Black Pearl" and "Creole Goddess."