Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker #blackathon 2019

Posted by on March 2, 2019 in What Pooks is Reading | 2 comments

This is frustratingly weird. I worked on this post yesterday and it’s gone. While I guess I must have quite the program without saving, I could swear that WordPress also does autosaves? No? And I can’t recreate everything. But here’s what I can tell you quickly.


Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker

Written by Patricia Hruby Powell
Illustrated by Christian Robinson
(Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Books)

I wanted to read a biography of Josephine Baker. I’m on a waiting list for Josephine Baker’s Last Dance by Sherry Jones but went ahead and borrowed this digital picture book while I was looking.

What a wonderful book! It’s a picture book written in free verse [second free verse book I’ve read this month for #blackathon and I loved them both].

The story of Josephine Baker illustrated in vibrant, exuberant pictures, told with vibrant, exuberant words, as should be for her brave and bold life.

I recommend it highly as a quick read for adults or for kids.

Josephine Baker in a French film doing what pretty much epitomizes her life–breaking rules and dancing her own dance. They loved her in Paris when she couldn’t work in the US. She entertained the troops–first French & English, and American when the came alone– in WW2 and also worked in the war effort.

She lived an amazing life, was loved by the world, all the places where she wasn’t treated like a second class citizen. When she came to the US to entertain sold out crowds and was told she’d still have to use the “colored” entrance and couldn’t eat at white restaurants or stay in white hotels, she canceled the tour and went home to Paris.

The real story, though, is how young she started, and how young she was when she took off for her dreams. But I guess you need to read the books to get the whole story!


  1. love the clips you shared

    • Finding them took soooo long! Not because they were hard to find or watch, but because I kept watching more and more long after I’d already chosen the ones I was using. Ooops.

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