My work is never done.
Josephine Baker, later known as ‘Bronze Venus’, ‘Black Pearl’ and ‘Créole Goddess’ was born in America in 1906 and later moved to France to become a singer, dancer, and actress. She was the first African-American woman to star in a major motion picture, and became famous worldwide.
Though she grew up as a maid in wealthy white households she eventually became an exotic dancer in France, famously appearing in next to no clothing, and became a French citizen in 1937.
Ernest Hemingway referred to Baker as ‘the most sensational woman anyone ever saw’ and she received approximately 1500 marriage proposals in her life time. She became a muse for Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, and Christian Dior. She had a variety of exotic pets including a cheetah named Chiquita, a chimpanzee named Ethel, a pig named Albert, a snake named Kiki, a goat, a parrot, parakeets, fish, three cats, and seven dogs.
When WWII broke out, Baker became a volunteer spy for France, and assisted the French Resistance by smuggling messages written in invisible ink on sheet music. She made great efforts to aid those in danger of enemy attack, sent Christmas presents to French soldiers, and smuggled information she gathered in Spain back to France by pinning notes containing the information on the inside of her underwear. She was awarded the Medal of Resistance with Rosette and later named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.
Baker also aided many civil rights movements by refusing to perform to segregated audiences and storming out of a club in Manhattan with actress Grace Kelly after she was refused service. She worked with the NAACP and spoke at a Washington march alongside Martin Luther King Jr. as the only official female speaker. Baker was actually asked by Martin Luther King Jr.’s widow to take his place as leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, but Baker declined on the grounds her twelve adopted children ‘were too young to lose their mother’.
Baker died in 1975, four days after her final show, attended by such names as Mick Jagger, Shirley Bassey, and Liza Minnelli.
Oh and she was queer and had a relationship with Frida Kahlo. All around badass.
The notes all say “disregard holidays; kill each other”. That’s funny.
Let’s see why they disregarded killing and partied together in this week’s WTFhistory.
WTFhistory is a part humor, part education blog that seeks…
Aww yiss. Moving up in the world. Now you can reblog, subscribe, AND like our videos!
In 1967, Kathrine Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston marathon. After realizing that a woman was running, race organizer Jock Semple went after Switzer shouting, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers.” However, Switzer’s boyfriend and other male runners provided a protective shield during the entire marathon.The photographs taken of the incident made world headlines, and Kathrine later won the NYC marathon with a time of 3:07:29. [Wiki]
Awesome women in history.
So you feel about me the same way Dean feels about himself?
I’M REALLY SORRY OKAY I DIDN’T MEAN IT
I LOVE YOU ACTUALLY
I WAS LETTING MY SNARKY AND SLEEP DEPRIVED SELF BE MEAN
PLS FORGIVE ME GRENDEL I LOVE YOU as a blogger because I don’t know you in real life (though I’m pretty sure if you’re anything like your blog in real life I’d like you a lot.)
shhh shhhh babby deeep breaths.
I’m fucking with yooou. *petpetpet*
Ok, Tumblr has this obnoxious tendency to reblog things here, to WTFhistory, when it’s SUPPOSED to be going to my main blog, recreationalcannibalism.
It shouldn’t be doing that and it’s driving me up a wall. Especially since it SAYS it’s going to my main and then DOESN’T.
I’m really sorry about it guys!
A 2500 year old mummy that had some amazing tattoos.
NO FUCKING WAY.
YO HOLD ON.
IT GETS BETTER.
This mummy, found in the Altai mountains of Siberia, is actually that of a young woman who died at about the age of twenty-five; she is thought to have been a member of the Pazyryk tribe.
She was buried with six horses and two similarly-tattooed men (the horned griffon that decorates her shoulder also appears on the man buried closest to her, covering most of his right side), possibly escorts. She was also wearing a horse-hair wig, silk, and elaborate boots, which is all a level of ceremony that would have likely only been accorded to a woman of high rank. You didn’t get inked like this unless you were very important, and had worked your way up to that importance.
…Hence, of course, the references to her by researchers as ‘The Ukok Princess,’ although due to the lack of weapons in her grave they have concluded that the woman was in fact a healer or a storyteller.
And now I’m all consumed with curiosity: Who was she? What amazing things did she accomplish? Why these symbols, and what did they mean? Who were the two men alongside her?
The most informative article about it can be found here, although I would completely eat up any other information you guys could find.
LGBTQ* People In History (of Great Importance)
The “Einstein of Sex”: Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld
14 May 1868 – 14 May 1935
Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld was a scholar, physician, sexologist, and arguably the first outspoken gay and transgender activist in modern history.
Why he rocks?
1. Jewish gay* identified doctor, fought to end Paragraph 175 in Germany ( a law that made homosexuality punishable by law)
2. Founding member of Wissenschaftlich-humanitäres Komitee(WhK) ( English: The Scientific-Humanitarian Committee), which acted advocacy group to many underrepresented individuals (including the queer* population).
3. Led the FIRST congress for sexual reform
5. Created a way of cataloging identities, 64 of them, outside of “gay/lesbian,” including many ways to identify oneself outside of cisgender identification. Hirschfeld is one of the earliest scholars and advocates for the transgender community in Western culture.
6. Created the Institute for Sexual Research, which became a safe haven for queer* individuals in Berlin
7. Joined the Bund für Mutterschutz (League for the Protection of Mothers), fighting for women’s equality and the decriminalization of abortions
8. Lost his entire library and most of his life work to the Nazi party but was able to flee and save his life (and rumored to have saved a few others). Nazi soldiers burned the entire institution’s contents on May 6, 1933 (80 years ago this month).
Imagine what the world might be if we still had all of his notes and the stories of hundreds of queer* identified and trans* identified individuals.
- (Photo Source:Magnus Hirschfeld)
- (Photo Source 2/3: International Sexological Congresses)
- (Photo Source: Institute for Sexology)
- (Photo Source: Nazis burning Hirschfeld’s Institute’s contents)
Emu: Australian for getting you ass kicked.
Looks like Grendel is back with another episode of WTFhistory.
Make sure to subscribe at youtube.com/wtfhistorical
(I told y’all I’d get an episode up tonight if it killed me.)
Hello day crowd!