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Josephine Baker challenged racial injustice throughout her life

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Baker would often perform alongside her cheetah!

The sassy and stylish Paris Cat meets some very influential people as she makes her way through Paris! Dancer, entertainer and civil rights activist Josephine Baker was one of them!

Find out more about one of the most successful performers in French history below.

Josephine Baker was born on June 3rd, 1906 in St Louis, Missouri. Beginning her dancing career on Broadway, she moved to France in 1925 and became one of the highest-paid and most popular entertainers in Europe! She even had a friend join her onstage at times, her cheetah, Chiquita!

During World War II, Josephine worked with the Red Cross and the French Resistance. She also entertained troops in North Africa. After the war, she was awarded the Legion of Honour and Croix de Guerre for her services to the military.

Baker even worked with the French Resistance during WWII!

Josephine was the first black woman to star in a major motion picture, a silent movie in 1921! She was a powerful activist against racism in the 1950s and 1960s. The NAACP even renamed May 20th, 1951 as ‘Josephine Baker Day’!

Josephine refused to perform to segregated audiences and was a big supporter of the Civil Rights Movement. She was one of the few female speakers during the March on Washington in 1963.

Josephine adopted 12 children from many countries around the world! In her final years, Baker had successful shows at Carnegie Hall and the London Palladium.

Josephine Baker died on April 12th, 1975. Her funeral procession was attended by over 200,00 mourners. She is remembered today for her talent and her activism.

 

  • Read: The Sunday Times says Paris Cat is one to watch out for!
  • Watch: Check out the trailer for Paris Cat!
  • Read: There’s so much to enjoy and learn in Paris Cat – Dolphin Book Blog

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