Josephine Baker was born in St.Louis in 1906. Throughout her childhood, she was faced with both discrimination and poverty, dancing on the streets to collect money for her family.
Okay so here's the plan...
At just 15, Josephine left home to perform with a theater troupe. She moved to New York, performing as a dancer during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s.
"I have walked into the palaces of kings and queens and into the houses of presidents...But I could not walk into a hotel in America and get a cup of coffee."
Josephine later moved to Paris, where she became one of the most successful African American performers in French history. She danced, sang, and acted in several successful European movies.
March on Washington
During the WWII German occupation of France, Josephine acted as a spy for the French, passing on information that she had heard while performing for the enemy, and hid written in invisible ink on music sheets.
When she returned to the United States, Josephine was met again with the discrimination she had experienced during childhood. She refused to perform for segregated audiences.
Josephine was recognized by the NAACP for her civil rights activism, and spoke at the 1963 March on Washington.