American artists moved to Paris or spent considerable time there rather than endure the racism and segregation in America. In Paris they could be free to eat in any restaurant they chose, and were treated well. After fleeing segregation in America where African Americans couldn’t stay in the same hotels or eat in the same restaurants as whites, Josephine felt well at home in this vibrant city. World War II Hero During World War II, Josephine served with the French Red Cross and was an active ember of the French resistance movement.
The French Resistance was a group of individuals who helped to win the war against the German Nazis enemy with undercover work. Using her career as a cover Baker became an intelligence agent, carrying secret messages written in invisible ink on her sheet music. She was awarded honor of the Choir De Gruyere, and received a Medal of the Resistance in 1946. In 1961 she received the highest French honor, the Legion denouncer from French president Charles degaussed.
A Force in the Civil Rights Movement When Josephine later returned to America to perform, she always insisted that the theaters not be segregated. At that time, African-Americans were told that they could only sit in certain sections of the theatre, away from whites. They also had to sit in the back seats of public transportation, could not eat in the same restaurants, or frequent the same stores and other public venues. In the sass, Baker traveled around the United States giving speeches in support of the civil rights movement, which was campaigning for equal rights for African Americans.
After World War II, Josephine began to adopt children from all over the world, calling them her “Rainbow Tribe. ” She saw her Rainbow Tribe as evidence that people of all colors and races could live together in peace and harmony. She adopted 12 children in all. Josephine and the Rainbow Tribe lived in a large castle in southwestern France. Josephine Baker made several movies, numerous recordings, and performed on stage until she was in her late ass.