By Christian Robinson, Patricia Hruby Powell
In exuberant verse and stirring images, Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinson create a rare portrait for teenagers of the passionate performer and civil rights recommend Josephine Baker, the lady who labored her method from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest levels on the planet. Meticulously researched through either writer and artist, Josephine's strong tale of fight and triumph is an proposal and a spectacle, like the legend herself.
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Additional resources for Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker
Josephine stepped out of time at the end of the chorus line, dancing with the Dixie Steppers all the way up to Philadelphia, where the Dixie Steppers tired of the road, went their separate ways. My Face Isn’t Made for Sleeping 1921–1925 JOSEPHINE, just a tall skinny kid, fifteen, on her own in the city of Philadelphia, met Willie Baker, Pullman porter, handsome in his gray uniform and red cap. And married him. Now she was Josephine Baker. She heard about the first all-black show on Broadway—White Theater Street, New York City, USA.
She found a park bench, tucked her bundle of clothes under her head, and slept. She awoke DAZZLED by the big city and filled with hope, walked straight to the theater, BOLD as a SHOUT and auditioned for Mr. ” But JOSEPHINE got the job dressing the dancers. AGAIN. She learned every dance. Every song, too. Just in case. “Brush, fasten, unfasten, button, unbutton. ” But one night a dancer didn’t show up. That’s all it took. Josephine STEPPED IN FRONT of the audience. “When saw those watching faces a giddiness swept over me .
At the END of the CHORUS LINE, she stumbled off balance on elastic legs— on purpose— looked up in surprise, dropped her elbows like limp washcloths, CROSSED HER EYES, flashed a smile. And the audience LAUGHED. Josephine jutted out her hip, flirted and grinned, and STOLE THE SPOTLIGHT from Eva, the star. The audience howled. Eva, the chorus, the director— all raged at Josephine. ” She made the white audience laugh, MUGGING FACES, GRIMACING, and SIGHING through her exotic jig. Josephine soaked it up and kept the job.