In 2008, dancer and entertainer Josephine Baker was honored at Madame Tussauds in Berlin in this iconic pose, her "banana dance" from her 1920s act with the Folies Bergère, based in Paris.
The American-born Baker went to Paris where she had far more success than she did in America. She became a French citizen. During World War II, she worked for the Red Cross and the French Resistance.
When, in the 1950s, she encountered discrimination in the United States, she became active in the early civil rights movement.
Josephine Baker became noted in the mid-1920s after she moved to Europe. One of her most famous images is this one, which Madame Tussauds museum in Berlin, Germany, copied for a wax statue of Baker in 2008. This costume was one she wore from about 1926, when appearing with the Folies-Bergère. When wearing this costume, she appeared on stage by climbing backwards down a tree.
Josephine Baker, an American-born dancer who found success in Europe in the 1920s, achieved her fame at the same time the Harlem Renaissance was blossoming in America, and women like Billie Holiday were becoming famous in the jazz world in the United States.
Josephine Baker flashes her famous smile, this time backstage at a performance in Los Angeles in 1951. While she found more success in the United States than she had found at the beginning of her career, she also found that racial discrimination was still alive and active.
Josephine Baker, better known as a dancer, singer and comedienne from the 1920s, was a French citizen after emigrated from the less-welcoming United States. During World War II, Baker worked with the Red Cross and fed intelligence to the French Resistance. In this photograph, she looks back at wartime memorabilia collected during that time.