Amoeblog

Queen Josephine Baker and her banana skirt

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, February 28, 2015 10:25pm | Post a Comment

josephine baker paul colin la revue negre art posrt black history african american dance paris 1920s

Josephine Baker, American expat and French citizen, was a decorated World War II hero and civil rights crusader who spoke at the March on Washington in 1963 next to Martin Luther King, Jr. and further devoted her life to challenging segregation in America while attempting to raise a multiracial, multinational family of twelve children adopted from twelve different countries, her so-clalled "rainbow tribe", to further demonstrate her belief in the possibilities of racial equality. In spite of all her honors, humanitarian efforts, and dignified intentions, Baker is perhaps best known for being the vivacious cabaret dancer in the banana skirt.

josephine baker march on washington world war II hero medal of honor josephine baker rainbow tribe adopted family

Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1906 to a washerwoman and a vaudevillian drummer (who would later abandon them), Josephine took to the stage when she was about a year old. Her parents, who had a song-and-dance act, would occasionally bring her out onstage as a part of their finale, an appearance that unofficially marks the very beginning her 67 year career as an entertainer. Her official start came years later when she dropped out of school at thirteen and lived the life of a street urchin in the St. Louis slums, scavenging garbage cans for food, sleeping in cardboard shelters, and dancing street-corners for money.

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Show-Me Hollywood -- Missourians in Hollywood on Missouri Day

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 16, 2013 12:00pm | Post a Comment
Happy Missouri Day! I was not born in Missouri but I count myself fortunate to have grown up there, moving to the Show-Me State from Kentucky when I was four and staying until I was sixteen. Of course, I ended up moving west (St. Louis is the Gateway to the West after all) to the great state of California, following in the footsteps of many before me. For this blog entry, I'd like to honor Missouri natives who worked in Hollywood film.

Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's Map of Missouri
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's Map of Missouri

Also, there's some sporting event involving a cricket-derivative going on right now between Los Angeles and St. Louis -- arguably the greatest cities in their respective states (well, arguable in St. Louis's case). So forgo your animal-style friesCool Ranch tacosFrench Dipskogi tacos, and Mission burritos for one day and prepare a feast of BBQCherry Mashesgooey butter cakeOzark PuddingSt. Louis-style pizzaSt. Paul sandwiches, and toasted ravioli as we honor the Missouri-Hollywood connection.

(In which we write this.)

Posted by Job O Brother, September 6, 2010 01:39pm | Post a Comment
writer's block
I love everything.

For whatever reason, I am suffering from a rare case of writer’s block. This is my second attempt at writing an Amoeblog today, the first being a page-long history of the adoption of our second cat, Maybe. By the time it had devolved into a story about how she had murdered my family, I finally put a stop to it. I hate cute stories about cats – psychotic or otherwise.

But it leaves me at square one, which is totally my least favorite square. Square eight is the place to be. It’s the one with lemonade.

summer
Here's a picture of lemonade to look at with your eyes. (You're welcome.)

Even though I have no idea what to write about today, since this is the Amoeblog, I know I must introduce music, film or TV into the subject matter, so let’s start with these things:

Yes, that is Phylicia Rashad, (then Phylicia Allen) singing a song from her album, Josephine Superstar, a disco-concept-album merging the music of Josephine Baker with dance beats. I don't actually have an opinion on this one way or the other, but I thought you were old enough to know about it.

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Father's Day (contains spoilers)

Posted by Job O Brother, June 20, 2010 09:16pm | Post a Comment

job o brother
It's a Hallmark card not yet writ

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(In which Job hocks some shiny spit.)

Posted by Job O Brother, April 1, 2008 12:31pm | Post a Comment

I don’t have much time this week; I’m nipple-deep in spring cleaning. I won’t sleep until this apartment shines like the top of the Chrysler Building.

As with everything I do – from cleaning, to cooking, to not doing math homework, to faking my way through a treatment of complicated parapneumonic effusion and pleural empyema by video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery – I do it with music.

Here then, are some of my favorite things to hear when I’m wielding a Swiffer or yanking my Toilet Duck:










While I was polishing my silver bullet collection, I couldn't help but notice that my fellow Amoeblogger, Billyjam, posted an interview with me, which you can read by pressing the word "perambulator" in this sentence. It's really too kind. My only complaint is that he neglected to include the scratch 'n' sniff portions.

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