JOSEPHINE BAKER

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As a dancer and singer, Josephine was one of the most popular and highest-paid entertainers of her time. She also toured France and the States as a comedian and Broadway actress. She performed in controversial, revealing outfits, such as a skirt made entirely out of bananas, which made her memorable to French audiences. In her home country of America, her performances were met with racist reactions and so she tended to embrace her French audiences more.

She married multiple times and earned military honors for her efforts during the French resistance. She had 12 adopted children from different ethnic backgrounds, who she referred to as the ‘rainbow tribe’, and used as an example of how different races can live together harmoniously. She participated in several boycotts and demonstrations against segregation, which the NAACP honored by giving her her own day.

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