Black Venus In Her Beauty: Josephine Baker

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Black Venus in Her Beauty Wearing enough feathers to barely cover herself, Josephine Baker won over French audiences with not only her lack of clothes, but with her utmost acting, dancing, and signing. Baker spent most of her life amassing the recognition of audiences all around the world. Wistfully, the United States hated her because she was a black American and they did not see the talent she held. In spite of her home country disdaining her, Josephine Baker embodied the freedom and expressiveness of that which is known as jazz. Josephine Baker was born Freda Josephine McDonald on June 3, 1906, in St. Louis, Missouri. Her mother, Carrie McDonald, hoped to be a music hall dancer but was forced to be a washerwoman. Her father, Eddie Carson, was a vaudeville drummer. He left Josephine Baker and Carrie McDonald shortly after birth. Carrie McDonald had 3 more children in the coming years. Baker worked babysitting and cleaning houses for wealthy families, often getting poorly treated (“Josephine Baker”). “At the age of eight Josephine was hired out to a white woman as a maid. She was forced to sleep in the coal cellar with a pet dog and was scalded on the hands when she used too much soap in the laundry” (“Josephine Baker Biography”). She returned school two years later…show more content…
She would dance in clubs and street performances. By 1919, Josephine was touring the United States with the Dixie Steppers and the Jones Family Band, performing comedic skits. Josephine married Willie Bake in 1921. Although they divorced years later, Josephine kept the name the rest of her life. She landed a role in 1923 in the musical Shuffle Along as a chorus member. The comic touch she brought made her popular with the audiences. Later on, Baker moved to New York city. She was soon performing in Chocolate Dandies in the floor show if Plantation Club, along with Ethel Waters. She again became a crowd favorite. (“Josephine Baker
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