Josephine Baker was an entertainer from St. Louis, Missouri who gained fame in Europe for her provocative dancing. After achieving fame abroad, she began focusing on acting, singing and fighting racism.
Freda Josephine McDonald was born June 3rd, 1906 in St. Louis’s Mill Creek Valley, a large black neighborhood adjacent to one of the cradles of ragtime, Chestnut Valley (both of which no longer exist). Freda Josephine, early on, became better known in her family as “Tumpy.” Her mother, Carrie McDonald, listed on her daughter’s birth certificate “Edw” as her father. Although it’s assumed that this cryptic scribble referred to drummer Eddie Carson, it was widely considered an open... Read More