A dancer, singer, activist and spy, Josephine Baker was a star and a hero. Baker grew up poor, but her rocky start did not hold her back from success. Baker had major achievements for a black woman in her time; she was the first African-American to star in a major film. Baker was first to integrate a concert in Las Vegas. Even though Baker got her start during the Harlem Renaissance, her true claim to fame was her success in France. She was the first black woman to receive military honor in France. Since Baker was so successful in Europe, she was able to spy for the French resistance during World War II. Although Baker was very successful in France and had found success during the Harlem Renaissance, she was not welcomed in the United States due to segregation and racism. Racism did not stop Baker from being a part of the Harlem Renaissance.
Josephine Baker was born to Carrie McDonald, in St. Louis, MO on June 3, 1906. The situation on who Baker’s father is up to debate, it is rumored that Eddie Carson was her father. Eddie Carson was a drummer and had an entertainment act with Baker’s mother. At birth, Baker’s name was Freda Josephine McDonald. (Robinson) Later, Baker changed her name when she got into the entertainment business. In her youth, Baker was always poorly dressed and hungry; she started working at the age of 8 years old. (Whitaker 64) She worked as domestic help for a white family; the woman of the house was reportedly abusive to Baker. At the age of 12, Baker dropped out of school. After Baker dropped out of school, she became homeless. (Wood 241–318)
While living on the streets, Baker only 13 years old, married Willie Wells. The couple divorced shortly after their marriage. (Josephine Baker History) Again, Baker be...
... middle of paper ...
...n, Susan. "Josephine Baker." Josephine Baker. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2013. .
Lewis, Jone J. "Josephine Baker." About.com Women's History. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2013. .
Williams, Iain Cameron. Underneath a Harlem Moon: The Harlem to Paris Years of Adelaide Hall. London: Continuum, 2002. Print.
Cullen, Frank, Florence Hackman, and Donald McNeilly. Vaudeville, Old & New: An Encyclopedia of Variety Performers in America. New York: Routledge, 2007. Print.
"AllMusic." AllMusic. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2013. .
Shaffer, Ann. "Josephine Baker: A Centenary Tribute | Blackgrooves.org." Josephine Baker: A Centenary Tribute | Blackgrooves.org. Black Grooves, 4 Oct. 2006. Web. 14 Dec. 2013.
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
... treasury in 1934 (Abbott, Leonard, Noel, 2013, pp 479). Josephine was an inspiration to others and was a driven woman. She wanted to help others and that is exactly what she did in her life. She helped women and their families, as well as mine workers. Her successful life ended in 1976 in Washington, DC.
Ella Baker was born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1903. She always had strong opinions, and “followed her own mind”. However, she was influenced by her grandmother growing up, and this contributed to her sense of social justice and racism. Her grandmother, who had once been a slave, told her granddaughter stories of her own years in slavery. Her grandmother had been whipped for refusing to marry a man picked by her slave owner (SNCC). This story and others like it inspired Baker throughout her life, and led to many of the incredible things she did. Ella and her parents moved to Littleton, North Carolina when she was eight. Sadly, her father stayed behind for his job. The public schools for black children during this time were not sufficient. Her parents wanted to send her and her brother and sister to boarding schools. They both worked hard to acquire this. Finally, when Baker turned fifteen she was sent to Shaw University, in North Carolina (SNCC). Being the bright, intelligent student that she was, she had excellent grades, and was top in her class. She expressed an interest in being a medical missionary, but this would not have been realistic. After graduating in 1927 as valedictorian, Baker headed to New York City (Richman). She was quite brilliant and hoped to find some opportunities in New York that would help her do something worthwhile with her life.
The movie Lady Day: The Many Faces Of Billie Holiday paints an interesting, and thought provoking portrait of one of jazz and blues most charismatic, and influential artists. The incomparable talent of Billie Holiday, both truth and legend are immortalized in this one-hour documentary film. The film follows Holiday, also referred to as “Lady Day” or “Lady”, through the many triumphs and trials of her career, and does it’s very best to separate the facts from fiction. Her autobiography Lady Sings The Blues is used as a rough guide of how she desired her life story to be viewed by her public. Those who knew her, worked with her, and loved her paint a different picture than this popular, and mostly fictional autobiography.
Her family ties to the south, her unique talent, her ability to travel and make money are similar to the Blues women movement that preceded her. It can be said that Nina Simone goes a step further the by directly attacking inequities pertaining to race and gender in her music. However, what distinguishes her is her unique musicianship and that is what ultimately garners her massive exposure and experiences than those of her past contemporaries. Like the Blues women Simone expands ideas pertaining to self-expression, identity and beauty as they relate to black women. She does this by embracing what is definitively African American and connecting that to a historical context. By doing so she is the embodiment of a political statement. Her journey which began like many entertaine...
Ella Josephine Baker was born in Virginia, and at the age of seven Ella Baker moved with her family to Littleton, South Carolina, where they settled on her grandparent's farmland her grandparents had worked as slaves. Ella Baker's early life was steeped in Southern black culture. Her most vivid childhood memories were of the strong traditions of self-help, mutual cooperation, and sharing of economic resources that encompassed her entire community. Because there was no local secondary school, in 1918, when Ella was fifteen years old, her parents sent her to Shaw boarding school in Raleigh, the high school academy of Shaw University. Ella excelled academically at Shaw, graduating as valedictorian of her college class from Shaw University in Raleigh in 1927.
Looking back on the dazzling and male-dominant world of music in the Sixties and Seventies, there stood a petite woman who was especially eye-catching. Janis Joplin, the female icon of the Sixties’ counterculture, conquered millions of audiences with her confidence, sexiness, straightforwardness, hoarse voice, and electrifying on-stage performance. To this day, no one can ever compare with her. She is thus known as the greatest white female rock and blues singer. Not only has her flabbergasting singing style innovated the music in the Sixties and Seventies, Janis Joplin herself is also character with most controversial and interesting characteristics.
Known as the “Empress Of Blues”, Bessie Smith was said to have revolutionized the vocal end of Blues Music. She showed a lot of pride as an independent African-American woman. Her style in performance and lyrics often reflected her lifestyle. Bessie Smith was one of the first female jazz artists, and she paved the way for many musicians who followed.
To summarize Nina Simone and how important she was, many people would describe her as a musical genius, a Black Power icon, and even some
“No two people on earth are alike, and it’s got to be that way in music or it isn’t music,” -Billie Holiday. (PBS) Billie Holiday was one of the most famous blues and jazz artists of her time and still is today, but there are many people who only know her for her music and know nothing of her past. Given the fact that her life was not perfect by any means, Holiday would never had made the impact that she did if she were to have lived any differently.
Amy Beach was a very famous and influential composer and pianist from New Hampshire, United States. She fought long and hard to get to where she got in her lifetime. Back in the late 1800’s, it was hard for women to get noticed because they believe that their role in society was to stay at home and take care of the family. Amy Beach defeated all the odds of a female gender role in her lifetime. She became a role model for young girls wanting to become a composer or becoming anything they wanted to be, as long as they fought for it. She has made an enormous impact on music in America. The following paper will discuss Beach’s life, her struggles, her musical training, how her music was shaped by the society she lived in and famous compositions
Billie Holiday is considered one of the most influential vocalists in jazz history She made a deep impression on her contemporaries such as Frank Sinatra. A publication in Ebony magazine, published shortly after her death in 1958, described her as “The most important influence on American popular singing in the last 20 years” (Teachout). The things that she achieved in her music changed the way that people looked at jazz singers. Before Billie Holiday jazz singer did not have a big role in the song After Billie Holiday, jazz singer was seen as headline the leader of an Orchestra. In effect to her outstanding success in the jazz industry, black artists began to become more successful in the music industry. Billie Holiday represented more than just a great vocalist. In her music, she would address the oppression of black people during her time. Songs like “Strange Fruit” which details
Born on April 7th, 1915, was a African American girl named Billie Holiday. Little did anyone know she would grown up to be a women with a huge impact in the world of jazz music. Miss Billie Holiday was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She’s the daughter of Sarah Julia, and Clarence Holiday. Her father was a musician, and he left her mother when Billie was born to follow his dreams as a jazz guitarist. Billie Holiday didn’t have the easiest childhood. For the first ten years of her life she really struggled with the fact that her mom often left because of her job, leaving Billie to be raised by her grandmother Martha Miller. Billie
One of many examples we can take into account was her passion for education. Though on television, Marilyn Monroe was portrayed as a brainless woman endorsing the typical dumb blonde stereotype, in reality, she was quite the opposite. Attending literature classes at UCLA, Monroe’s education was no different to that of a man in the 1900s. She had a small collection of books as well as diaries and poems demonstrating her passion for complex authors such as Walt Whitman, Samuel Beckett, and James Joyce. Education was limited towards women and with Monroe being able to receive the same education of a man, she encouraged other females to seek an equal opportunity. Monroe’s ability to gain a higher education wasn’t the only scenario that attributed to promoting equality. She often spoke up for those whose voice had no power and were discriminated against. Ella Fitzgerald, an African-American jazz singer once labeled as the “First Lady of Song”, ”Queen of Jazz”, and “Lady Ella” (Ella Fitzgerald) was not as always as admired as she used to be. One of the most significant events that initiated her career in the music industry was because of Marilyn Monroe. This event occurred when Fitzgerald had difficulty booking a performance at the Mocambo, a nightclub in Hollywood. Monroe’s opinion of the matter: racial
Ransby, Barbara. Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: a Radical Democratic Vision. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, 2003. Print.