Josephine Baker: An icon for a lifetime

Why isn’t this taught at school?

Josephine Baker was a role model and broke down the “racial barriers” in the entertainment industry. She was the first black woman to star in a major motion picture and the first to host a major Broadway show.

Her influence extended far beyond the stage. Josephine Baker was a fierce advocate for civil rights and social justice and used her platform to speak out against racism, segregation and colonialism.

Baker’s activism knew no bounds; she used her power in a variety of ways to fight for the rights of marginalized communities. Josephine Baker dared to consistently challenge the status quo by using her voice and employing it in her art. In her performances, she made use of prejudices with humor and eroticism and used them as a tool to reach white audiences in Europe. It was thus able to inspire change worldwide and spark an international movement for social justice.

Baker also publicly rejected fascism and colonialism. During the Second World War, she even worked as a spy for the French Resistance, risking her life to gather information against the Nazi regime.

After the Second World War, she continued her fight for equal rights and adopted 12 children from different backgrounds. She wanted to break down colonial thought patterns and demonstrate her belief in intercultural harmony and acceptance.

The link below will take you to our website where you can read more about Jospehine Baker and her activism, especially for marginalized communities. Did you know Josephine Baker? Tell us if you think that important personalities like Josphine Baker should be taught more in German schools and institutions.

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