123rd out of 135 books — 13 voters
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Born into poverty in 1906, Josephine Baker grew up to live an extraordinary life: Broadway star, a spy for the French cause during World War II, and dedicated champion of racial equality. Baker's charm, passion, wit and intelligence characterize this autobiography which also contains the voices of some of her famous friends, lovers, and colleagues. Photos.
Published January 1st 1995 by Marlowe & Company
(first published 1976)
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Oct 03, 2012 Theophilus (Theo) rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in deeper African American experiences other than pop stars and gangstas.
Wow! I had heard of Josephine Baker, but knew nothing about her. Her dream of a colorless society where everyone is treated with equal respect seems like a fantasy today, but she lived her life trying to prove that it was possible. This book is compiled fron her notes and letters with comments by those who knew and loved her. Her husband Jo provides wonderful personal insight into her hidden life and her super-motivation to reach her goal. Like many African Americans, soldiers and civilians, who ...more
May 28, 2016 Anna rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
It's so hard to believe Josephine Baker was an actual real-life person who strolled around Paris with a leopard, almost took over the civil rights movement after MLKs death, had twelve (12!!!!) children, and performed until her death at 69 years!! How can anyone ever top this life, really...
I enjoyed learning about Josephine Baker's global and political impact as a performer touring all over the world, the complexity of her personality portrayed from the roles she played as a dancer, singer, mother, business woman, wife, and human rights activist, and her various encounters with famous political and cultural figures. Considering how this book spans all throughout the 1920s to the 1970s, it is also an early example of how a woman navigates her professional and domestic roles as a ...more
I love autobiographies and I found this one riveting although I had the feeling a lot was left out. It was especially moving to read about how serendipity played its hand in launching this legend's career, about her love for children and about how she decided to adopt children of different races. La Baker was definitely an international diva and broke down barriers for other women of color in the entertainment field.
May 27, 2014 Christa rated it it was amazing
When a co-worker gave me this book, I knew nothing about the fabulous Josephine Baker. After reading this book, my world changed...for the better. What a remarkable woman. Her resilience to conquer all the bad things life threw at her inspired me. And that's why I will always be jazzy4josephine.
I knew relatively little about Josephine Baker's life, and the extent of her success as a European exile, as well as the intensity to which she devoted her life to racial equality, were new to me and made fascinating (albeit not the most in-depth in terms of self-analysis) reading. This is largely an autobiography, with some 'gaps' filled in with segments from people in her life.
I feel as if I now know and understand Josephine Baker. What better way to understand someone's life than to listen to them explain it.It is a great autobiography with excerpts from her family and husband. I totally recommend it. Enjoy!