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Josephine Baker

Josephine BakerAKA Frida Josephine McDonald

Born: 3-Jun-1906
Birthplace: St. Louis, MO
Died: 12-Apr-1975
Location of death: Paris, France
Cause of death: Cerebral Hemorrhage
Remains: Buried, Cimetiére de Monaco, Monaco

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Bisexual [1]
Occupation: Dancer, Singer, Spy

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Sensual dancer turned WWII spy

[1] Quote by Jean-Claude Baker, her son and author of Josephine Baker: The Hungry Heart (1993), for which he interviewed over 2000 people (interviewed by Afrobella): "She was today what you would call bisexual, and I will tell you why. Forget that I am her son, I am also an historian. You have to put her back in the context of the time in which she lived. In those days, chorus girls were abused by the white or black producers and by the leading man if he liked girls. But they could not sleep together because there were not enough hotels to accommodate black people. So they would all stay together and the girls would develop lady lovers friendships, do you understand my English? But wait wait -- if one of the girls by preference was gay, she would be called a bull dyke by the whole cast. So you see, discrimination is everywhere." See also Lester Strong, "Josephine Baker's Hungry Heart", Gay & Lesbian Review Worldwide, September/October 2006.

Father: Eddie Carson (musician)
Mother: Carrie McDonald (laundress)
Husband: Willie Wells (m. 1919, div.)
Husband: William Howard Baker (Pullman porter, m. 1920, div. 1923)
Husband: Jean Lion (m. 30-Oct-1937, div. 1938)
Husband: Jo Bouillon (orchestra leader, m. 1947, div. 1957)
Husband: Robert Brady (artist, m. 1973, until her death)

    Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame 1976
    French Legion of Honor 1961
    Croix de Guerre
    St. Louis Walk of Fame
    Renounced US Citizenship 1937
    Naturalized French Citizen 1937
    Hysterectomy 1941
    Coma 10-Apr-1975, died two days later

    Princess Tam-Tam (2-Nov-1935)
    Zouzou (1934)

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