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Josephine Baker (June 3, 1906 – April 12, 1975) was an American-born French dancer, singer, and actress who came to be known in various circles as the "Black Pearl," "Bronze Venus" and even the "Creole Goddess". Born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine later became a citizen of France in 1937. She was fluent in both English and French.
Josephine Baker was an American singer, dancer and night club performer who achieved fame in
1920s. She was also known for being a civil rights advocate and for fighting
racism. What is less known is that she was also a lesbian or bisexual woman. Paris
Josephine Baker was a sex symbol of her time and she had many notable lovers, both male and female. She had lovers in
Europe and in
the and she
dated both Black and White men and women. Many of her biographies fail to
mention her female lovers. United States
Baker’s Banana Dance is probably one of the most famous dances during that era.
Whether it’s the bananas or the way she moves with them, this dance has gone down in history and is something every dancer should know about.
Josephine Baker had a style all to her own. Her unique aesthetic and bold choreography are still studied today as paradigms of 20s and 30s vernacular jazz movements. Not only is she an important figure in the Swing world, but her political significance trumps many of her contemporaries. She was the first African American female to star in motion pictures and to perform at a racially integrated American Concert Hall. She aided the French resistance in WWII which won her the prestigious military award of the Croix de Guerre and she is especially noted for her contributions to the American Civil Rights movement in the 1970s.