Josephine Baker: More than sex and slapstick

Aof all things bananas! Phallic, exotic, cute. Freda McDonald, who is known to this day as Josephine Baker, made a world career in the 1920s in the more revealing than concealing fruit skirts. As the first black woman. Because in a racist world she played with clichés of her race, exaggerated and parodied them. And so only got stronger. She lived clichés, but always pranced over them. And she actually only wore the banana belt for one season. Nevertheless, it was and remained her trademark. When she made a guest appearance in Berlin in 1926 and took the cosmopolitan city of metropolitan sin, shimmering in the twenties, by storm, two competing entertainment entrepreneurs were after her, as well as the theater magician Max Reinhardt, his sinister adlatus Karl Vollmoeller, who was not only hungry for the artist and the gay Harry Graf Kessler, who sketched her as the leading actress in a ballet pantomime with music by Richard Strauss. Josephine Baker advertised hair cream, body lotion, Baker dolls and various other merchandise, she was elegant and boyish, gentle and burlesque, purring and vulgar. Always bigger than life.


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