Josephine Baker was an American-born French entertainer, civil rights activist, and French Resistance agent. Her career was centered primarily in Europe. She was wildly popular in France during the 1920s. Josephine devoted much of her life to fighting racism.
She was born Freda Josephine McDonald on June 3, 1906, in St. Louis, Missouri. She spent most of her youth in poverty before learning to dance and finding success on Broadway. She moved to France during the 20s and became a beloved entertainer who rose to fame on the stages of Paris, because racism held her back in the U.S. During the ’50s and ’60s Josephine devoted herself to fighting segregation and racism in the United States. She even adopted children of different ethnicities and religions to create a multicultural family she called “The Rainbow Tribe.”