Josephine Baker

Date of Birth:  1906
Date of Death:  1975

Who am I? I'm Josephine baker.
I was an entertainer my whole life. I'm American born, St. Louis to be exact, but lived most of my years in France. In Paris I could be a star, it didn't matter that my skin color was black. I performed in all of the top theaters – I was a hit. I loved wearing outrageous costumes, lots of feathers and jewels. Once I came out on stage wearing only 16 bananas strung into a skirt! I sing, dance, do comedic routines for both stage and screen. Maybe you’ve seen me in le Revue Negre or the films, Princess TamTam or ZouZou. That was Paris in the 20s and 30s – what fun.

During WWII I lived through the German occupation of Paris. I used my high profile and unquestioned mobility to assist the resistance. I even received a French medal of resistance. I rarely returned to the US because there was so much discrimination. When I did tour there, I insisted on booking mixed clubs, no way would I perform to a white audience while the black people were segregated out of the theater. They say that I was a major force in integrating clubs and theaters in Las Vegas, NV. The Civil Rights movement made perfect sense to me and I was a full supporter. I even Marched on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. I was never lucky in love, but I had a good time. I married 6 men in my life, 2 were not official but no less meaningful. I have a beautiful multi-ethnic family of 12 children. I adopted them all. I call them the ‘Rainbow tribe’. I had a full life with great fans and fabulous friends. Just before I died I had two great performances, one at Carnegi Hall to a standing ovation, and the other at the Bobino Gallery where celebrities came to see me. Several days later, I died in the hospital from a cerebral hemorrage. My funeral was held at L'Eglise de la Madeleine and my remains are in a Cemetary in Monaco. But don’t remember me that way, remember me shakin' it cause I can.