Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Josephine Baker Stamp Recalls Controversy

AFP reports, "The US Postal Service (USPS), which last year lost a legal battle after refusing to mail postcards with a topless image of US-born chanteuse Josephine Baker, is honoring the late African-American with a stamp of her own..."

According to the report, "The stamp reproduces a poster from the 1935 French film Princess Tam-Tam that featured the sultry star -- this time with her bosom covered -- who emigrated to France where she took much of Europe by storm after encountering racism in her home country."

It goes on to say, "After a protracted but eventually triumphant free-speech battle supported by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), her adopted son Jean-Claude Baker was allowed in May 2007 to mail 15,000 postcards to patrons of "Chez Josephine," his New York restaurant opened 22 years ago in honor of his adopted mother.

"The USPS had refused to accept and mail the cards, which featured a 1926 watercolor by Henry Fournier depicting Baker as a topless Follies-Bergere dancer, on the basis that they were "pornographic", according to the NYCLU.

"But the Baker son held firm and eventually prevailed in his case, earning his right to send the cards and an apology from the USPS."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM