While working with the French Resistance, Josephine Baker smuggled secrets written in invisible ink on her sheet music.
The popular image of Josephine Baker is of a daring entertainer, one who often shocked audiences by defying all the conventions of the day. But behind the tabloid fodder of her dramatic stage performances and glamorous lifestyle — including a pet cheetah — there was a complex woman that many of her fans never saw. Baker was a French Resistance spy, a civil rights activist, and an adoptive mother to a "Rainbow Tribe" of a dozen diverse children that she hoped could model racial unity. "She never thought that anything was impossible," observes Bennetta Jules-Rosette, author of Josephine Baker in Art and Life: The Icon and the Image. "She could do things we would consider ahead of their time, because she never thought she would fail." Continue reading Continue reading