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April 13, 2024

Stunning Photos of Joséphine Baker on the Stage in the 1970s

American-born French dancer, singer and actress Joséphine Baker was the first black woman to star in a major motion picture, the 1927 silent film Siren of the Tropics, directed by Mario Nalpas and Henri Étiévant.

During her early career, Baker was among the most celebrated performers to headline the revues of the Folies Bergère in Paris. Her performance in its 1927 revue Un vent de folie caused a sensation in the city. Her costume, consisting only of a short skirt of artificial bananas and a beaded necklace, became an iconic image and a symbol both of the Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties.

Baker was celebrated by artists and intellectuals of the era, who variously dubbed her the “Black Venus”, the “Black Pearl”, the “Bronze Venus”, and the “Creole Goddess”. On November 30, 2021, she was inducted into the Panthéon in Paris, the first black woman to receive one of the highest honors in France.

Take a look at these stunning photos to see portraits of Joséphine Baker on stage in the 1970s.


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