In 1925, Missouri-born Josephine Baker, left for Paris travelling with an all-Black troupe as an erotic dancer. She soon came to love France with the freedoms it afforded her and became famous in an era in which being a Black bisexual woman would have been impossible in her home country.
When war broke out, a French intelligence officer approached her to spy on the Axis powers. By listening into conversations at soirees and writing the details on her body she proved to be an excellent source.
Since her marriage to a Jewish man in Paris posed a risk, they moved to the south of France. Although the area was under the collaborationist Vichy regime, she continued her intelligence work smuggling information to British intelligence officers in Portugal. She crossed border checkpoints without being searched all the while having photos pinned to the inside of her clothes and crucial information recorded via invisible ink on the back of her music sheets. In 1945 Josephine Baker’s bravery and contributions were acknowledged by the France government.
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