Josephine Baker  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

J’ai deux amours
mon pays et Paris

--"J'ai deux amours" (1930)

"Born in St Louis in 1906, Baker travelled to France as a dancer in La Revue Negre. According to biographer Lynn Haney, the show’s producer had been advised by the Cubist artist, Fernand Leger, to bring an all-black show to Paris. ‘Give them the Negroes,’ Leger told Andre Daven, after he had seen an exhibition of African sculpture at the Exposition des Arts Decoratifs. ‘Only the Negroes can excite Paris.’ " --Exotica: Fabricated Soundscapes in a Real World (1999) by David Toop

"She made her entry entirely nude except for a pink flamingo feather between her limbs; she was being carried upside down and doing the splits on the shoulder of a black giant. Midstage he paused, and with his long fingers holding her basket-wise around the waist, swung her in a slow cartwheel to the stage floor, where she stood. . . . She was an unforgettable female ebony statue. A scream of salutation spread through the theater. Whatever happened next was unimportant. The two specific elements had been established and were unforgettable-her magnificent dark body, a new model that to the French proved for the first time that black was beautiful, and the acute response of the white masculine public in the capital of hedonism of all Europe-Paris." --Paris Was Yesterday, 1925–1939 (1972) by Janet Flanner

Josephine Baker, photo by Lucien Waléry
Josephine Baker, photo by Lucien Waléry

Related e



Josephine Baker (1906 – 1975) was an American-born French dancer, singer and actress. Her career was centered primarily in Europe, mostly in her adopted France. She was the first black woman to star in a major motion picture, the 1927 silent film Siren of the Tropics.

During her early career, Baker was among the most celebrated performers to headline the revues of the Folies Bergère in Paris. Her performance in the revue Un vent de folie in 1927 caused a sensation in the city. Her costume, consisting of only a short skirt of artificial bananas and a beaded necklace, became an iconic image and a symbol both of the Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties.

Baker was celebrated by artists and intellectuals of the era, who variously dubbed her the "Black Venus", the "Black Pearl", the "Bronze Venus", and the "Creole Goddess". Born in St. Louis, Missouri, she renounced her U.S. citizenship and became a French national after her marriage to French industrialist Jean Lion in 1937. She raised her children in France.

She aided the French Resistance during World War II and was named a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur by General Charles de Gaulle. Baker sang: "I have two loves, my country and Paris."

Baker refused to perform for segregated audiences in the United States and is noted for her contributions to the civil rights movement. In 1968, she was offered unofficial leadership in the movement in the United States by Coretta Scott King, following Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. After thinking it over, Baker declined the offer out of concern for the welfare of her children.

On 30 November 2021, she was interred in the Panthéon in Paris, the first black woman to receive one of the highest honors in France. As her resting place remains in Monaco Cemetery, a cenotaph was installed in vault 13 of the crypt in the Panthéon.

Linking in in 2023

A. de Herz, Adolf Loos, Adoption, African-American LGBT community, African-American women in the civil rights movement, Alice Patrick, Alicia Parla, André Daven, Andrea Stuart, Anna Ludmilla, Anne Anlin Cheng, Anne Bouillon, Années folles, Anthony Russell (American singer), April 12, April in Paris Ball, Arkadia Records, Art Deco, Asbury Park, New Jersey, Associated Negro Press, Ava Cherry, Bennetta Bullock Washington, Beyoncé, Billy Arnold (bandleader), Billy King (comedian), Bisa Butler, Black and tan clubs, Black Is King, Blackface in contemporary art, Blaxit, Boris Lipnitzki, Cabaret, Carousel of Variety, Cavalcade of Jazz, Charles H. Turpin, Charleston (dance), Chasing a Rainbow: The Life of Josephine Baker, Chestnut Valley, Chocolate Kiddies 1925 European tour, Cinema Rialto, Clarissa Burton Cumbo, Clémence Botino, Cross-dressing, Dainty Smith, Danny Elfman, Dar Al Basha, Dar el Bacha, David Spada, Diana Ross, Dolly Rudeman, Dolores (Ziegfeld girl), Donnell Turner, Don't Touch Me Tomato, Dordogne, Ebertfest, El ministerio del tiempo, Elio Crovetto, Emma Hope, Evelyn Dove, Fasia Jansen, Féral Benga, Fernand Coppieters, Frères Séeberger, Gabriel Bouillon, Gabriele Fritsch-Vivié, George Chakravarthi, Georges Simenon, Grace Kelly, Gunnar Torhamn, Hayes, Hillingdon, Helen DeMacque, Henry Kulka, History of music in Paris, Isa and Jutta Günther, Ismay Andrews, James Baldwin, Jan Broekhuis, Jazz Hot, Jean Omer, Jean Starr, Jean Weidt, Jeremy Siskind, Jett Adore, Jillian Hervey, Jimmy Davis (songwriter), Jo Baker (singer), Joaquín La Habana, Johnny Bergh, Johnny Hudgins, Josie Woods, Judy Garland, Julia Bullock, June 3, Justin Pieris Deraniyagala, Karl Hagenauer, Kazoo (magazine), Kevin Hart's Guide to Black History, Kevyn Aucoin, Kniže & Comp., La Toya Jackson, Lady Bird Cleveland, Lancel (company), Laszlo Alexandru, Le pompier des Folies Bergères, Leighla Whipper, Leonard Harper (producer), Let's Dance (German season 10), Lew Payton, LGBT culture in Paris, LGBT culture in St. Louis, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Lillian Yarbo, Lily Pastré, Lottie Gee, Lovecraft Country (TV series), Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Lucita Covera, Luis Buñuel, Mae West, Maïmouna Doucouré, Manse Hotel, Marawa Ibrahim, Maria Austria, Mary Ann Pollar, Mary Curtis Ratcliff, Maureen Chadwick, May 20, May, Maya Widmaier-Picasso, Mbissine Thérèse Diop, Media portrayals of bisexuality, Miki Sawada, Mill Creek Valley, Missouri, Mistinguett, Monaco Cemetery, Monopol Hotel, Katowice, Montmartre, Moulin Rouge, Muriel Millard, Myrtle Watkins, National Hotel (Miami Beach, Florida), Nika King, Notable American Women, 1607–1950, October 1925, Ollie Stewart, Olympia (Paris), Overseas Press Club (radio program), Pál Funk, Panthéon, Paris between the Wars (1919–1939), Paris, Parisian Pleasures, Pat Cleveland, Paulette Coquatrix, Pierre Bénichou, Pierre Monteux, Quicksand (Larsen novel), Rainbow Honor Walk, Raunch aesthetics, Recipients of the Croix de Guerre, René Compère, Robert De Kers, Rodrigo Moya (photographer), Ruth Virginia Bayton, Sasha Velour, Seine, Serbian pop, Sex worker, Shea Couleé, Shelby Ivey Christie, Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, Sidney Bechet, Sir Lady Java, Siren of the Tropics, Sofka Nikolić, Stanislas Ostroróg, Stanisław Julian Ignacy Ostroróg, Stefan Weintraub, Stella Bloch, Steppenwolf (novel), Strictly Come Dancing (series 13), Striptease, Ten on Every Finger, The French Collection, The Führer and the Tramp, The Griot Museum of Black History, The Wicked + The Divine, The Woman from the Folies Bergères, Théâtre de l'Étoile (Champs-Élysées), Una casa in cima al mondo, Victoria Platt, Wal-Berg, Weimar Republic, Werkstätte Hagenauer Wien, Women in music, Women on US stamps, Zaidee Jackson, Zora Neale Hurston

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Josephine Baker" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools