Josephine Backer (ciivil Rights Movement) - History - Essay

1262 words - 6 pages

Kautzer 1
Alex Kautzer
U.S. History II
Mrs. Ramminger
11 May, 2018
Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker did many things for the Civil Rights Movement. In her years she also
did some crazy things, for example wearing bananas as a dance costume. There were many
things that she did that contributed to the Civil Rights movement .When she was born, she had
the name of Freda Josephine McDonald, witch she changed later. When she was young she was
very poor but set her dreams on Broadway anyway. She spent most of her time fighting
segregation and racism. In her later years she moved to France, and upon her death she was
buried with military honors.
Josephine Baker was a dancer and singer. S`vf yghe became very popular in France
during the 1920s. In addition, she dedicated much of her life to fighting racism and equal rights.
She was born on June 3, 1906 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was born with the name Freda
Josephine McDonald, later changing her name to just Josephine Baker. Her mother was Carrie
McDonald, a washerwoman, but she had dreams of becoming a music-hall dancer. Her father
was Eddie Carson. He was a vaudeville drummer. Shortly after Josephine was born her dad left
them and moved away. This did not stop Carrie from giving herself and her daughter a better
life. She remarried soon after and had many more children. From a young age, Carrie knew she
wanted Josephine to have dreams and achieve them. She gave up many things so her kids could
achieve what they wanted. Even though Carrie wasn’t always there to support Josephine, she
Kautzer 2
knew that her mom could always help. When Josephine was 8, she made the decision to help
support her family. She cleaned houses and babysat for wealthier, white families, even if it meant
being treated poorly. After helping her family she returned to school two years later. Shortly
after this she ran away from home around age 13. She found work at a club waitressing. While
working there, she met and married Willie Wells, which sadly ended in a divorce only weeks
later. With all of the things that happened to her it made her a better person, and shaped how she
saw and acted toward other people.
In the 1920s she moved to France. She became one of Europe's most popular actors,
fulfilling her dream from when she was a little girl. Through all of her hard work and time she
became one of the highest-paid performers. During this time (1950-60s) she set aside time on
fighting segregation and racism in the United States. She returned frequently to the U.S. to
support the ​Civil Rights Movement​. She helped lead boycotts and non-segregated concert
venues. She tried to desegregate these venues. She also would have concerts at these venues to
support the Civil Rights movement. While still in the U.S. in 1963, She helped ​Martin Luther
King Jr.​ with the ​March on Washington​. On one occasion, she and her husband were refused
reservations from 36 hotels while staying in New York. This was only because of ​racial

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