About Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker (June 3, 1906 – April 12, 1975) was a legendary dancer, singer, actress, celebrated war heroine and universal mother. Known for her famous banana dance, Baker made her fame in Europe, but was born in St. Louis Missouri. Leaving a life of poverty, she went on to become an over-night sensation after a single performance. She was one of the wealthiest women in Paris with her own castle in the South of France, beauty products named after her and a pet cheetah! She was embraced and captured by artistis, writers and photographers. Fashion designers dressed her in lavish gowns - she was a diva.
Josephine was the first African American to star in a major motion picture, to integrate an American concert hall, and to become a world-famous entertainer. Baker was awarded the French military honor : the Croix de Guerre for her help during the war.
She is also noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States and spoke at the March on Washington. In 2008, she was honored with a U.S. postage stamp as part of the Black Cinema Series.
On November 30, 2021 Ms. Baker received the highest honor in Paris when she became the first and only African woman to be honored (posthumously) with a Pantheon burial.
(see details on our blog post)
Today she is still remembered and seen as a style icon.