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Josephine Baker: Honored with stamp

Wednesday 16, July 2008

Josephine Baker: Honored with stamp
Josephine Baker: Honored with stamp

The US Postal Service (USPS) has taken the decision to honor Josephine Baker, the famous chanteuse from African-America, with a stamp of her own. News was revealed on Wednesday. Last year USPS has lost a legal battle after it refused to mail postcards with a topless image of Baker.

Reporters have thrown more light on this news on Josephine Baker. Her image is part of a commemorative series of US postage stamps that has honored classic black cinema. As per schedule the stamp will be unveiled at a ceremony in Newark, New Jersey on Wednesday.

The stamp reproduces a poster from the French film "Princess Tam-Tam" that was released in the year 1935. It featured this sultry star with her bosom covered.

They serve as "invaluable pieces of history, preserving memories of cultural phenomena that otherwise might have been forgotten," added Delores Killette, Vice President of USPS in a statement on Tuesday.

"My adoptive mother, whose theme song was Two loves Have I, my Country and Paris,' would be delighted, thrilled and deeply moved by this wonderful tribute to African-American culture," Baker's adopted son Jean-Claude Baker said in the statement.

After a protracted but eventually triumphant free-speech battle supported by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), son of Josephine Baker was given the permission in May 2007 to mail as many as fifteen thousand postcards to patrons of "Chez Josephine." It is the name of his restaurant in New York that he has started almost twenty two years ago in honor of his adopted mother.

"My adoptive mother, whose theme song was Two loves Have I, my Country and Paris,' would be delighted, thrilled and deeply moved by this wonderful tribute to African-American culture." This is the comment of Baker's adopted son Jean-Claude Baker.

The USPS had refused to accept and mail the cards, which portrayed a 1926 watercolor painting by Henry Fournier thereby depicting Baker as a topless Follies-Bergere dancer, as "pornographic" item. NYCLU has made this complain.

But the Baker son remained unperturbed. Eventually he earned his right to send the cards and an apology from the USPS.

While interviewing the reporters of a popular news agency Josephine Baker’s son said , "If it had been a photo of Josephine, a black and white photo, there would not have been a case, but it was a work of art, by an artist, and I knew that I had a legal right (to send it by mail) in the United States."

Josephine Baker was born in the year 1906 in St. Louis, Missouri, where she faced discrimination. Even in theaters she was humiliated as blacks were barred from sitting in the same areas as whites.

After achieving fame in Europe she time and again returned to the United States to support the civil rights movement, and also has joined the Reverend Martin Luther King at the milestone 1963 march on Washington.
Josephine Baker: Honored with stamp


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