Josephine Baker

About Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker spent her youth in poverty before learning to dance and finding success on Broadway. In the 1920s she moved to France and soon became one of Europe’s most popular and highest-paid performers. She worked for the French Resistance during World War II, and during the 1950s and ’60s devoted herself to fighting segregation and racism in the United States, whilst also refusing to perform for segregated audiences. 

Her career began with blackface comedy at local clubs; this was the entertainment of which her mother had disapproved; however, these performances landed Baker an opportunity to tour in Paris, which would become the place she called home until her final days. Baker was celebrated by artists and intellectuals of the era, who variously dubbed her the “Black Venus”, the “Black Pearl”, the “Bronze Venus”, and the “Creole Goddess”. After beginning her comeback to the stage in 1973, Josephine died of a cerebral hemorrhage on April 12, 1975, and was buried with military honors. Learn More…

Josephine Baker