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Boundary-Breaking Black Dancers

Josephine Baker

Josephine Baker was born Freda Josephine McDonald on June 3, 1906, in St. Louis, Missouri. Raised in poverty, Baker went on to become one of the most popular performers in France. She had star billing at the Folies-Bergère, where she created a sensation by dancing seminude in a G-string ornamented with bananas. During World War II, Baker worked with the Red Cross and the Résistance and later traveled to the U.S. to participate in civil rights demonstrations. Learn more about Baker and other revolutionary women of dance.

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