Whether she was wowing audiences on stage with her barely-there dresses, or walking her pet cheetah (resplendent in his diamond collar) down the Champs-Elysees, Josephine Baker was a woman who went her own way, dared to be different and fought hard for her successes and her principles.

A dancer, actress and singer, she was the first African-American woman to star in a major motion picture and to become a world famous entertainer. Much of her life was spent in France and she even worked for the French resistance as a spy during the Second World War. She also supported the civil rights movement – and her refusal to play for segregated audiences helped integrate audiences in Las Vegas.

I did take the blows [of life], but I took them with my chin up, in dignity, because I so profoundly love and respect humanity.” Josephine Baker.

 


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