A photo posted by R. A. Mills (@abaykamau) on


No. 33 ? Josephine Baker was born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, MO. Josephine Baker ran away a few years after the 1917 riots in East St. Louis and began dancing in vaudeville and on Broadway. In 1925, Josephine Baker went to Paris where, after the jazz revue La Revue Nègre failed, her comic ability and jazz dancing drew attention of the director of the Folies Bergère and she became one of the best-known entertainers in both France and much of Europe. During World War II Josephine Baker worked with the Red Cross, gathered intelligence for the French Resistance and entertained troops in Africa and the Middle East.

Josephine Baker was refused service at the famous Stork Club in 1951 New York City. Afterwards, Baker responded by crusading for racial equality, refusing to entertain in any club or theater that was not integrated, and thereby breaking the color barrier at many establishments.