Behind every man is a great women. And behind every great woman is another great woman. Not just our mothers either. I mean our historic icons, role models, our idols. We all have women that we’ve looked to and said, Wow. You are incredible. So considering it’s black history month, I’d love nothing more than to introduce you to the most fabulous woman, basically ever.
One of my favorite individuals in history happens to have been a world famous nude dancer. People always looked at me cross during school reports (and I have done many on this lovely gal). It was a sure fire way to get their attention. But if you asked… Yes. My hero was a stripper. But she was so much more.
Josephine Baker was so much more than a woman who took off her clothes. She was an entertainer, singer, actress, dancer, and comedian, and considered the first black superstar. She was known for her sultry vocals and distinct improvisational dance style. She was also a human rights activist. Because of her strong views against racial discrimination, she left the country for France where she reached international stardom. When she returned, she refused to perform for segregated audiences in America, is also noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. She was once offered unofficial leadership in the movement in the United States by Coretta Scott King in 1968, following Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. She turned down the offer for the sake of her family, but she is renowned as a major influence. Josephine was also a war hero. She was also known for assisting the French Resistance during World War II,and received the French military honor, the Croix de guerre.
She was an entertainer, an artist, an activist, and a war hero. She happened to include some nudity along the way, but if you asked anyone in from 1925-1975, they will call her one of the classiest, most tasteful, most confident divas of all time. She was a brick paving the way for the Allies during the war, Blacks during Civil Rights, Women, and particularly Divas.