Josephine Baker’s Secret Moments

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Although Old Hollywood legends and royal princesses alike may have been revered for their enviable style and penchant for luxury, they also grappled with troubled upbringings and tumultuous relationships throughout their lifetimes. Delving past the curtain of glamorous celebrity, Secret Moments is a series humanizing the icons of yesterday.

Revered by the artists and creatives of the Jazz Age, Josephine Baker was a glamorous star far ahead of her time. Born Freda Josephine McDonald on June 3, 1906 in St. Louis, Missouri, Baker grew up in acute poverty, sleeping in a bed with six of her siblings. At eight years old, she was pulled out of school to work as a live-in-domestic servant. Baker eventually ran off to Paris to pursue a career of entertaining, paving the way for black women in the industry. Honoring her birthday today, CR looks back at the fascinating life of the 1920s icon.

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