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Quotes  

By Josephine | About Josephine

"Surely the day will come when color means nothing more than the skin tone, when religion is seen uniquely as a way to speak one's soul; when birth places have the weight of a throw of the dice and all men are born free, when understanding breeds love and brotherhood."

"The secret to the fountain of youth is to think youthful thoughts."

"... I improvised, crazed by the music... Even my teeth and eyes burned with fever. Each time I leaped I seemed to touch the sky and when I regained earth it seemed to be mine alone."

"I believe in prayer. It's the best way we have to draw strength from heaven."

"Beautiful? It's all a question of luck. I was born with good legs. As for the rest... beautiful, no. Amusing, yes."

"I like Frenchmen very much, because even when they insult you they do it so nicely."

"Since I personified the savage on the stage, I tried to be as civilized as possible in daily life."

"We must change the system of education and instruction. Unfortunately, history has shown us that brotherhood must be learned, when it should be natural."

"It [the Eiffel Tower] looked very different from the Statue of Liberty, but what did that matter? What was the good of having the statue without the liberty?"

"I did take the blows [of life], but I took them with my chin up, in dignity, because I so profoundly love and respect humanity."

"We've got to show that blacks and whites are treated equally in the army. Otherwise, what's the point of waging war on Hitler?"

"I love performing. I shall perform until the day I die."

"I'm not intimidated by anyone. Everyone is made with two arms, two legs, a stomach and a head. Just think about that."

"The white imagination is sure something when it comes to blacks."

"Art is an elastic sort of love."

"One day I realized I was living in a country where I was afraid to be black. It was only a country for white people. Not black. So I left. I had been suffocating in the United States... A lot of us left, not because we wanted to leave, but because we couldn't stand it anymore... I felt liberated in Paris."

"I am tired of that artificial life. The work of being a star disgusts me now. All the intrigues which surround the star disgust me... I want to work three or four more years and then quit the stage. I'll go live in Italy or the South of France. I will get married, as simply as possible. I will have children, and many animals. I love them. I want to live in peace surrounded by children and animals. But if one of my children wanted to go onstage in the music hall, I would strangle it with my own two hands."

"The old Catholic parties hounded me with a Christian hatred from station to station, city to city, one stage to another."

"You are on the eve of a complete victory. You can't go wrong. The world is behind you."
- Josephine, speaking at the '63 March on Washington

"Salt and pepper. Just what it should be."
- Josephine, looking over the crowd at the 1963 March

"Until the March on Washington, I always had this little feeling in my stomach. I was always afraid. I couldn't meet white American people. I didn't want to be around them. But now that little gnawing feeling is gone. For the first time in my life I feel free. I know that everything is right now."

"I think they must mix blood, otherwise the human race is bound to degenerate. Mixing blood is marvelous. It makes strong and intelligent men. It takes away tired spirits."

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De Meyer - Josephine Baker 1925-26
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