Josephine Baker Essay

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Josephine Baker Natasha Buggs HUM/102 08/30/2012 Dr. Tia Black Josephine Baker, in my opinion, is the twentieth century figure whose work and artistic contribution can be classified in both age of modernism and age of pluralism. Josephine Baker should receive the Genius Award because she sashayed onto Paris stage during the 1920s with a comic, yet sensual appeal that took Europe by storm. Famous for barely-there dresses and no-holds-barred dance routines, her exotic beauty generated nicknames such as "Black Venus," "Black Pearl" and "Creole Goddess." She maintained energetic performances and a celebrity status for 50 years until her death in 1975. Unfortunately, racism prevented her talents from being wholly accepted in the United States until 1973. Josephine Baker was born June 3, 1906 as Freda Josephine McDonald in St Louis Missouri. She started he career as a street musician in St. Louis and soon graduated to performing on the T.O.B.A. vaudeville circuit. In 1922 she landed a small part as a comedy chorus girl in the touring company of Sissle and Blake's musical revue "Shuffle Along". Josephine went over well in her small role in the revue and came to the attention of Sissle and Blake. They wrote a special part for her in their 1924 production of "Chocolate Dandies". During this time period Josephine became the steady girl friend of Eubie Blake. French producers came to New York looking to cast an all-black musical revue in Paris. They saw Josephine performing at the Plantation club and offered her a part in their production La Revue Negré. In 1925 she went to Paris to appear in in the show. The show opened on October 2, 1925 in Paris at the Théâtre Champs-Elysées. Josephine had two numbers in La Revue Negré. In the first routine she danced a frantic version of the Charleston while accompanied by a jazz band that featured Sidney Bechet. Her second routine

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