Updated: Dec 1, 2020
Ironically, I don't read a whole lot of books. Yet, I always find myself in Barnes & Noble looking for a new book to add to the stack of halfway read books. But, recently I came across a book that I found quite interesting. Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World by Penelope Bagieu, covers the incredible, crazy, and adventurous lives of hundreds of women all over the world.
What caught my eye about this book though, was the fact that all of these women are different in almost every single way, yet they all share one thing in common. They have forever changed the ideology of what a woman should be. Something a little even more interesting about this book is that it's a graphic novel. I know to some, graphic novels are their first choice of books, but I promise that this book is worth the read. The first day I got it, I couldn't put it down. I was so engulfed in these women's stories, amazed even, about how powerful they were through all the problems they faced.
One of the many women who inspired and amazed me was Josephine Baker. Josephine was a Dancer, French Resistance Fighter, and a Matriarch. She came from a poor family in Saint Louis Missouri. Her mother was a dancer, so of course, she followed in her footsteps and also became a dancer. She rose to the top quickly with dancing and performs on Broadway, eventually moving allllll the way to Paris to perform for La Revue Negre at the Champs-Elysees Theatre. Josephine eventually leaves La Revue Negre and becomes the lead act at the famed Folies Bergere. She tours for many years but becomes tired of it, so what else does she do? She starts a singing career and immediately climbs to the top. Much later in Josephine's life, she finally becomes a French citizen...just in time to witness the Nazi occupation. She, of course, decided she absolutely had to do something about it! She uses her life as a socialite to steal top-secret information and sends messages in invisible ink on her music sheets! Due to all of her help, Josephine becomes a Sub-Lieutenant of the Women's Auxiliary of the French Air Force and receives full French Military honors. She lives out the rest of her life in France with her twelve adopted children. Josephine passed away on April 12, 1975. Josephine Baker left such a large impact on the world and many women too. But she also left an impact on Venus by eventually having a crater named after her.
Josephine Baker is just one of the many women in this graphic novel who has impacted the world and the way that women are perceived. I find it crazy how these hundreds of thousands of women all experienced trauma and at many times, people looking down on them, and all of them fought through it all and never let it get to them. It helped me with some of the things I have gone through and made me realize that I can do whatever I want and there are no limits as to what I can accomplish. This book is extremely inspirational and an all around powerful book. This book gives women of all ages someone to look up to and shows them that nothing is impossible for a woman.
If you do read this book, I would love to hear what you thought of it! You can DM me on Instagram @kayleigh.langston
Kayleigh Langston <3
Cabot High School Junior