Josephine Baker
Updated: 6/18/2020
Josephine Baker
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Storyboard Text

  • Josephine Baker
  • 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.
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