Monday, November 07, 2005

Freda McDonald (aka Josephine Baker)

Josephine Baker was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1906 to parents Carrie McDonald and Eddie Carson. At the age of 12 she dropped out of school although we can see by her accomplishments that this did not stop her from being a "gutsy" woman.

Overcoming the limitations society put upon her because of the color of her skin, she became one of the world's most versatile entertainers, performing on stage, screen and recordings. She was decorated for her undercover work for the French Resistance during World War II. She was also a civil rights activist and she refused to perform for segregated audiences and helped to integrate the Las Vegas nightclubs. Amazingly, she adopted two children from around the world whom she called her "Rainbow Tribe."

In 1975, after a large party given in her honor, Josephine died in her sleep in Paris, France. She was buried in Monaco and became the first American woman to receive French military honors at her funeral.

Copyright M. A. Webb, 2005. All Rights Reserved.

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