Josephine Baker, daughter of a Negro washerwoman in St. Louis, had begun a sensational career in Paris nightclubs in 1925 by singing an Ave Maria while clad only in a girdle of bananas. She went on a little less scandalously to become “La Baker,” darling of Paris, a citizen of France and a legend to Americans.
Josephine Baker, in her famous banana skirt from the Folies Bergère, was an American who made a name for herself in Paris as an exotic dancer. She became an icon of flapper sexual liberation. Photo by Lucien Waléry, via Wikimedia Commons.