Josephine Baker: Brave and Cool Under Pressure

Hemingway Called Her “the most sensational woman anyone ever saw”

Josephine Baker was an entertainer, activist, and French Resistance agent.

Her role in espionage was during World War II. She served in the French Resistance and with the French military intelligence. She reported back what she learned of German troop locations and other insights from officials she met. She specialized in getting people to open up and talk about what they did and transmitted the insights directly to the resistance.

She was one of the most celebrated entertainers of her time. She was also a great leader in the U.S. civil rights movement, refusing to perform for segregated audiences, and helping to lead and organize other key players in the movement. In 1963 she was the only female speaker at the March on Washington, at the side of Rev. King.

For more see: The Many Faces of Josephine Baker: Dancer, Singer, Activist, Spy (Women of Action)

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