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This Happened

This Happened — October 2: Josephine Baker's Debut

Josephine Baker's debut in Paris on this day in 1925, was a pivotal moment in her career and played a significant role in her rise to international stardom.

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How did Josephine Baker start in Paris?

On October 2, 1925, Josephine Baker made her debut at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris as part of the cast of the revue "La Revue Nègre." This marked her first performance in Paris and was the beginning of her career in the city.

How was Josephine Baker received in Paris?

Josephine Baker's exotic dance style was met with enthusiasm and applause. During her debut in "La Revue Nègre," she performed various dances, including her famous "Danse Sauvage" (Savage Dance) wearing little more than a skirt of artificial bananas.

How did Josephine Baker's career progress after her debut in Paris?

Following her debut, Josephine Baker's career continued to soar. She performed at prestigious venues such as the Folies Bergère and gained recognition as a singer and actress as well. She became one of the most celebrated and highly paid performers in Europe, achieving worldwide fame.

What was Josephine Baker's impact on race relations and civil rights?

Josephine Baker's presence in Paris allowed her to escape the racial segregation and discrimination she faced in the United States. She used her fame to advocate for civil rights, and she refused to perform in segregated American venues. She later became involved in the civil rights movement and was a supporter of the NAACP.

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Influencer Union? The Next Labor Rights Battle May Be For Social Media Creators

With the end of the Hollywood writers and actors strikes, the creator economy is the next frontier for organized labor.

​photograph of a smartphone on a selfie stick

Smartphone on a selfie stick

Steve Gale/Unsplash
David Craig and Stuart Cunningham

Hollywood writers and actors recently proved that they could go toe-to-toe with powerful media conglomerates. After going on strike in the summer of 2023, they secured better pay, more transparency from streaming services and safeguards from having their work exploited or replaced by artificial intelligence.

But the future of entertainment extends well beyond Hollywood. Social media creators – otherwise known as influencers, YouTubers, TikTokers, vloggers and live streamers – entertain and inform a vast portion of the planet.

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For the past decade, we’ve mapped the contours and dimensions of the global social media entertainment industry. Unlike their Hollywood counterparts, these creators struggle to be seen as entertainers worthy of basic labor protections.

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