“I have walked into the palaces of kings and queens and into the houses of presidents… but I could not walk into a hotel in America and get a cup of coffee, and that made me mad.” —Josephine Baker Speech at the March on Washington, 28 August 1963
Josephine Baker was nineteen years old when she found herself in Paris for the first time in 1925. Overnight, the young American dancer became the idol of the Roaring Twenties, captivating Picasso, Cocteau, Le Corbusier and Simenon.
In the liberating atmosphere of the 1930s, Baker rose to fame as the first black star on the world stage, from London to Vienna, Alexandria to Buenos Aires. After World War II, and her time in the French Resistance (for which de Gaulle awarded her the Légion d’Honneur), Baker devoted herself to the struggle against racial segregation, publicly battling the humiliations she had for so long suffered personally. She led by example, and over the course of the 1950s adopted twelve orphans of different ethnic backgrounds: a veritable Rainbow Tribe. A victim of racism throughout her life, Josephine Baker would sing of love and liberty until the day she died. An inspiration to musicians from Dame Shirley Bassey to Beyoncé, Baker’s extraordinary legacy lives on to this day.
This thoroughly researched biography of the pioneering dancer, written with historical consultant and Baker’s son Jean-Claude Bouillon-Baker, features over a hundred pages of supplementary material, including a detailed timeline, biographical notes on Josephine’s contemporaries and an extensive bibliography.
About the creators
Catel Muller is an award-winning comics artist and illustrator. José-Louis Bocquet is a novelist and comics writer. They previously collaborated on the award-winning graphic biography Kiki de Montparnasse, published by SelfMadeHero. They live in Paris.
Notes to editors
SelfMadeHero aims to publish works that provoke, entertain, inspire and inform through the medium of the graphic novel. Celebrating our tenth anniversary in 2017, we are proud to showcase groundbreaking and beautiful work by authors and artists from across the globe, from the quirky and humorous to the political and profound. Releases for Spring 2016 include Néjib’s Haddon Hall; Fabrizio Dori’s Gauguin; Paolo Bacilieri’s FUN; Chris W. Kim’s Herman By Trade; and Pieter Coudyzer’s Outburst.