Josephine Baker

Fearless and Free

Fearless and Free

A Memoir

Summary

This is Josephine Baker in her own words.

Josephine Baker took Paris by storm in the 1920s, dazzling audiences with her humour, beauty and effervescence on stage. She became an icon. Hemingway, Jean Cocteau and Picasso admired her; Shirley Bassey adored her. It was told she strolled the streets of Paris with her pet cheetah who wore a diamond collar.

Later, as one of the most recognisable women in the world, she became a spy for the French resistance, her celebrity working as her cover. She was awarded the Légion d'Honneur for military service. After the war she became increasingly interested in civil rights. In 1963 she spoke at the March on Washington alongside Martin Luther King. All this from a girl born in Missouri to a poor single black woman and a white father she did not know.

Flirtatious, funny, candid and unconventional: this memoir gives us the wildly famous but elusive Josephine Baker telling her own story. Formed from a series of conversations with the French journalist Marcel Sauvage, over a period of more than twenty years, this book offers an entertaining insight into one of the most interesting and beguiling figures of the twentieth century.

‘I wanted to be more like Josephine Baker…she just danced from her heart, and everything was so free’ Beyoncé

‘The most sensational woman anyone ever saw’ Ernest Hemingway

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY IJEOMA OLUO

TRANSLATED BY ANAM ZAFAR AND SOPHIE LEWIS