La Baker Redux

Josephine Baker by Huene, 1927
Josephine Baker by Huene, 1927

The perennial interest in our first black international star seems to be on an uptick again. Huffington Post put this style feature-ette about Josephine Baker up today–with a very glossed over mention of her “dark skin” when in fact the fairness of her skin was just as problematic: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/14/josephine-baker-beauty-photos_n_3267033.html Colorism anyone?

Another post appeared on the Huffington site recently with a photo of La Baker in an ostrich-drawn carriage–yes, ostrich: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/27/josephine-baker-in-an-ostrich-carriage_n_2966419.html

As specialist on this area, I find the enduring fascination with La Baker fascinating. In the public imagination and the scholarly literature, La Baker has become touchstone for the era that far exceeds in some respects the fame that she had during her heyday between the Wars.

A CATTY ASIDE: Various links on the site suggest the very real possibility that Rihanna may be tapped to star in a biopic (quel horreur!)

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Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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