The sway of Jospehine Baker. To this day, Baker remains an inspiration for a younger generation of artists.

Bonn : ''Freedom, Equality, Humanity, is the title of the new exhibition at the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, in honour of US American artist Josephine Baker's life and work.

'' One hundred years of banana skirts are enough,'' Baker biographer Mona Horncastle told DW in an interview, referring to an iconic image that many people associate with the dancer Baker.

Instead, Horncastle prefers to focus on the star as a role model. Her versatility, self-empowerment and self-determination defined the narrative of her life and to this day, Baker remains an inspiration for the younger generation of artists, the biographer noted.

She finds Baker's call for universal human rights, freedom and equality ''insanely motivating,'' since back then, diversity was still far from being part of the discussion in society.

Both Horncastle's biography and the exhibition in Bonn contribute to Josephine Baker no longer being remembered only as an exotic dancer, who early in her career appealed to the taste of 1920s viewers as she danced in provocative, cliched ''questionable'' costumes.

More than 1,500 marriage proposals : Rather Baker's 50-year stage career is a remarkable one, as she danced and sang her way up from the slums of St. Louis all the way up to the great stages of Europe.

Legend has it that  Josephine Baker received more than 1,500 marriage proposals. In 1927, the famous dancer made more money than any other entertainer in Europe.

She was just 20 years old when she performed with the world famous Revue Negre cabaret show in Paris, Madrid and Berlin. Artists, actors  and writers - including Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Le Corbusier, Jean Gabin and Max Reinhardt - were smitten.

French writer and director Jean Cocteau raved about the ''beautiful idol of brown steel, irony and gold!''

The World Students Society thanks author DW.


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