Jazz Age Josephine
From Library Staff
Author Jonah Winter uses the music structure of rhythm and blues and jazz to tell the story of Josephine Baker. Starting with her impoverished life in St. Louis, racism in New York, and finally freedom in France, readers learn about the legendary singer and her unique performances.
This tribute to the life of the iconic jazz entertainer depicts her disadvantaged youth in a segregated America, her unique performance talents, and the irrepressible sense of style that helped her overcome racial barriers.
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"Well, she was born up in St. Louis, and she grew up with those St. Louis Blues / Yes, she was born in old St. Louis, and she grew up singin' nothin' but the blues, / She just had one old ragged dress and a pair of worn-out old shoes." That was Josephine Baker back in the day. Fortunately, the kid had pep. She could move and goof off and her dancing was so good that it earned her some money from time to time. Little wonder that when her home was burned by angry racists she headed straight for New York City. There Josephine was able to get some roles on the stage, but the minstrel parts were particularly galling. So off she flew to Paris and once she got there, "Paris, France - instant fame! / Everybody knows her name!" And though she missed her home, she was a jazz age baby and a hit at long last.
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