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Today in History: June 3rd, 1906

Photo Credit: Gaston Paris / Roger Viollet / Getty Images
Photo Credit: Gaston Paris / Roger Viollet / Getty Images

Singer, Spy, and Civil Rights Activist Josephine Baker is Born

On June 6th, 1906, a legendary figure in entertainment and civil rights was born: Josephine Baker. Born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri, she would become an iconic performer and a passionate advocate for equality.

Josephine Baker’s early life was marked by poverty and hardship. She was born into a poor African-American family and had to work from a young age to help support them. Despite these challenges, her talent and determination led her to pursue a career in entertainment.

Josephine Baker with a feather boa.
Josephine Baker circa 1926. (Photo Credit: Gaston Paris / Roger Viollet / Getty Images)

Baker’s move to France in 1925 was a turning point in her life. In Paris, she became a sensation with her unique and captivating performances. She introduced the Jazz Age to Europe, becoming a symbol of the Roaring Twenties and breaking new ground for African-American artists in a racially segregated world.

Beyond her entertainment career, Josephine Baker was a dedicated civil rights activist. She refused to perform for segregated audiences in the United States and was actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement. During World War II, she also contributed to the French Resistance, working as a spy and showing her courage and commitment to justice. Her humanitarian efforts included adopting 12 children from different ethnic backgrounds, whom she called her “Rainbow Tribe,” to promote racial harmony.

More from us: We Only See These Historical Figures as Older – Here’s How They Looked When They Were Young

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Today, as we remember the birth of Josephine Baker, we celebrate her remarkable legacy. She broke racial barriers, captivated audiences worldwide, and fought tirelessly for equality. Her impact on the entertainment industry and civil rights continues to inspire generations.

TVN News Poster

TVN News Poster is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News