Friday, February 3, 2012
Beauty Icon: Josephine Baker
Here in the USA, February is Black History Month. I get a bit annoyed with this concept, because I believe that the inclusion of African Americans in the history of America shouldn't be focused on in only one month (the shortest one out of the year at that) and why does Black history only seem to start with the American civil rights movement? As if that was the only time when we of the African diaspora started to engage in humanity and leave our mark. Anyways this post is not about that, but I had to vent a bit. So in honor of Black History month (side eye), I wanted to celebrate and pay tribute to our beauty icons! So I begin with one of my favorites Mme Josephine Baker! I have always had a fascination with this woman and find her so inspiring (so jealous Lynn Whitfield got to play her!). From being born into poverty in St. Louis in 1906 she rose to become one of the most celebrated entertainers and influential political figures. At her funeral in 1975 she received full French military honors and the Place Josephine Baker in the Montparnasse quarter in Paris is named in her honor. She was a celebrated international entertainer, spy for the French Resistance during WWII, highly involved in the American civil rights movement so much so that after Martin Luther King Jr.'s, assassination Coretta Scott King offered her the unofficial leadership of the movement (she turned it down because she said her kids were too young to lose their mother). When she was in America she refused to play in segregated venues insisting on mixed audiences, she adopted 8 children from all over the world, her "rainbow tribe" (take that Jolie-Pitts!). Josephine Baker was courageous, a trailblazer, a survivor, a style icon, an entertainer who has influenced the likes of Shirley Bassey to Beyonce. Referred to as The Bronze Goddess by her adopted homeland (France), Josephine Baker was an outstanding woman. If you haven't heard or know about her, Shame on you!!!! , and yes I'm judging! Now would be a good time to make use of Google and educate yourself on this fascinating woman.