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Official Site of Josephine Baker
Achievements  

Transmission of culture

Josephine was instrumental in the introduction of the Jazz Age to Europe; she helped represent American culture at a time when Europeans thought America had no culture.

Humanitarian
She did frequent charity work in Paris, appearing at benefits as well as being generally helpful. According to Phyllis Rose in Jazz Cleopatra, Josephine "kissed babies in foundling homes, gave dolls to the young and soup to the aged."

War efforts
During World War II, Josephine worked as a Red Cross nurse and an underground courier for the French Resistance. She also entertained troops as a sublieutenant in the women's auxiliary of the Free French forces.

Civil rights activist
Despite her attachment to Paris, Josephine felt it was her duty to help advance the civil rights movement in America. She wouldn't perform in theaters that discriminated, refusing to go on stage until blacks were allowed to sit in the same areas as whites. Josephine also spoke at the 1963 March on Washington, telling the crowd they looked like "Salt and pepper. Just what it should be."

Children of the world
Josephine didn't have children of her own, so she started an adopted family she called her "Rainbow Tribe." She wanted to prove that children of different colors and nationalities could live and prosper together. In all, she adopted 12 children from all over the world, but in the process, she lost her husband and her home.
 
De Meyer - Josephine Baker 1925-26
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