The Wonderful Josephine Baker

Currently learning more about the fabulous Josephine Baker. She was so much more than a dancer and entertainer. She was born in St. Louis and made a new life for herself in Paris. She was a spy during World War II, a leader in the Civil Rights Movement and the adoptive mother to 12 children, all of whom are of different nationalities.

The Stuff you Missed in History Class podcast did an episode on Josephine in 2010. Take a listen to it here.

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A few quotes from Josephine that I love. The world would be a peaceful place if we could all live and think like her.

“All my life, I have maintained that the people of the world can learn to live together in peace if they are not brought up in prejudice.”

“Let us stop saying ‘white Americans’ and ‘colored Americans,’ let us try once and for all saying… Americans. Let human beings be equal on Earth as in Heaven.”

“You must get an education. You must go to school, and you must learn to protect yourself. And you must learn to protect yourself with the pen, and not the gun.”

“The things we truly love stay with us always, locked in our hearts as long as life remains.”

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Rainbo Gardens

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I absolutely love this photograph of two impossibly chic women at Rainbo Gardens in Chicago in 1926.

I had to look up Rainbo Gardens and discovered it used to be located at the Lawrence and Clark intersection on the north side:

“Rainbo and its parking lot sit on two acres that have seen many entertainment uses over the past 130 years. In the 1870s, a beer garden was built there. Rainbo’s current building dates back to 1922, when it featured a theater/restaurant and an outdoor garden with lavish stage shows.Michael Ross, a former security employee, said that in the 1920s, the building included a tunnel up Lawrence Avenue toward the Green Mill on Broadway, allowing gangsters and other patrons to escape Prohibition-era police raids.”

This excerpt was taken from Uptown Chicago Commission. The article was written right before the building was torn down in 2003.

Sounds like Rainbo Gardens would’ve been the place to be in the 1920′s.