It might seem odd that the powerful African-American civil rights activist Josephine Baker is immortalized on her 111th birthday through a Google Doodle, but it also seems incredibly fitting.

Josephine Baker (Photo/YouTube)

Baker, who was born on June 3, 1906, never had just one title to describe her. The St. Louis-born doyenne rose from the poverty of her childhood to become one of Broadway’s most respected dancers and one of Europe’s highest-paid performers. Baker may have been at the height of glamour, but she used her abilities to become a war hero and civil rights leader.

Google’s slideshow goes through the many phases of Baker’s life, a poor little girl, a fabulous singer, and a leader.  More…