Josephine Baker (1906-1975) was nineteen years old when she found
herself in Paris for the first time in 1925. Overnight, the young
American dancer became the idol of the Roaring Twenties,
captivating Picasso, Cocteau, Le Corbusier, and Simenon. In the
liberating atmosphere of the 1930s, Baker rose to fame as the first
black star on the world stage, from London to Vienna, Alexandria to
Buenos Aires. After World War II, and her time in the French
Resistance, Baker devoted herself to the struggle against racial
segregation, publicly battling the humiliations she had for so long
suffered personally. She led by example, and over the course of the
1950s adopted twelve orphans of different ethnic backgrounds: a
veritable Rainbow Tribe. A victim of racism throughout her life,
Josephine Baker would sing of love and liberty until the day she
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