Josephine Baker

the one who introduced jazz and represented american culture

Her Life and How She Became Who She Was

Freda Josephine McDonald was born on June 3,1906 in St. Louis,Missouri. She was the daughter of Carrie McDonald and Eddie Carson. Growing up, Josephine had to help support the family, so she started cleaning houses and babysat white families at the age of 8. At the age of 13 she started working as a waitress and grew an interest in dancing. By 1919, she was touring with the Jones Family Band and the Dixie Steppers all around the United States of America. With her career taking a stride in the right direction, she had been given the names "Black Venus" and "Black Pearl". Even receiving more than 1000 marriage proposals and having HBO release "The Josephine Baker Story" that got 5 Emmy Awards. She had a love with children and adopted 12 children. Although she had much of a success in Europe, when she tried to come back to America, many people didn't have much of a positive aspect or feel for her. Americans disliked her greatly and felt that colored women shouldn't have the amount of power like she had. New York Times called her a "negro wench". This encouraged her to want to have a say about this discrimination. Joining the Civil Rights Movement and wanted to help the movement in America while also speaking at the 1963 March on Washington. Involved in helping WWII with being a Red Cross Nurse, she contributed throughout as much of life possible. In April 1975, she performed at the Bobino Theater in Paris for her 50th anniversary Paris debut. But unfortunately, a few days later on April 12, 1975 she passed away in her sleep at age 69. Having such a wonderful life and impacting greatly on the Harlem Renaissance, she clearly made an extraordinary impact in the 1920's and the future. Josephine inspired people and impacted many people throughout the world. She was proud of how she wanted to express herself through American Culture and loved to entertain people with her fame. Her fashion making a statement for what she wore in her performances, melting her community's worries, and bringing out her silly side during hard times. She was one of the most well rounded people who dared to be her wild self to stand up for what she thought was right.
(1925) Josephine Baker dancing the original charleston
Josephine being shown as dancing to her own style of "The Charleston Dance". Also demonstrating her fun side of having an enjoyment for what she does in life!

Q1. What got Josephine interested in the arts such as dancing and singing?

Q2. While growing up, did she ever think she could achieve so much in life and effect society like she did?