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Lesbian Adventure Club Series by Rosalyn Wraight
Griffith nearly went after him on the spot and had to be restrained. The media at the time either ignored the slur or used euphemisms such as "anti-man". The article pointed out that it would have been career suicide for an athlete or any other celebrity during the s to admit that he was gay. Griffith later won the world middleweight title and claimed an early version of the junior middleweight world championship, a claim that has not been universally recognized although some consider Griffith a three-division champion fighter. He turned professional that same year and fought frequently in New York City.
Six months later Griffith lost the title to Paret in a narrow split decision. He regained the title from Paret on March 24, in the controversial bout. He later defeated Dick Tiger for the Middleweight title. He also lost, regained and then lost the middleweight title in three classic fights with Nino Benvenuti. But many boxing fans believed he was never quite the same fighter after Paret's death. Reportedly, Emil Griffith still feels guilt over Benny Paret's death, and has suffered nightmares about it. Both have won world championships. In , at the age of 54, Griffith was viciously beaten and almost killed on a New York City street, after leaving a gay bar.
He was quoted in a Newsday blog as saying, "I keep thinking how strange it is I kill a man and most people understand and forgive me. However, I love a man, and to so many people this is an unforgivable sin; this makes me an evil person. So, even though I never went to jail, I have been in prison almost all my life. He passed away in Hempstead, New York. Recently an opera on his life titled ' Champion ' premiered in St.
Louis at the Opera Theatre St. Born in St.
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Baker was the first African American to star in a major motion picture, to integrate an American concert hall, and to become a world-famous entertainer. When Baker was eight she was sent to work for a white woman who abused her, burning Baker's hands when she put too much soap in the laundry. She later went to work for another woman.
Baker dropped out of school at the age of 12 and lived as a street child in the slums of St. Louis, sleeping in cardboard shelters and scavenging for food in garbage cans.
Her street-corner dancing attracted attention and she was recruited for the St. Louis Chorus vaudeville show at She performed as the last dancer in a chorus line, a position in which the dancer traditionally performed in a comic manner, as if she was unable to remember the dance, until the encore, at which point she would not only perform it correctly, but with additional complexity. Baker was then billed as "the highest-paid chorus girl in vaudeville. She performed the Danse sauvage, wearing a costume consisting of a skirt made of a string of artificial bananas. Baker represented one aspect of this fashion.
In later shows in Paris she was often accompanied on stage by her pet cheetah, Chiquita, who was adorned with a diamond collar.
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The cheetah frequently escaped into the orchestra pit, where it terrorized the musicians, adding another element of excitement to the show. Baker was so well known and popular with the French that even the Nazis, who occupied France during World War II, were hesitant to cause her harm. In turn, this allowed Baker to show her loyalty to her adopted country by participating in the Underground, smuggling intelligence to the resistance in Portugal coded within her sheet music. Her affection for France was so great that when World War II broke out, she volunteered to spy for her adopted country. Baker's agent's older brother approached her about working for the French government as an "honorable correspondent" -- if she happened to hear any gossip at parties that might be of use to her adopted country, she could report it.
Baker immediately agreed, since she was against the Nazi stand on race not only because she was black but because her husband was Jewish. She was able to do things such as attend parties at the Italian embassy without any suspicion falling on her and gather information that turned out to be useful.
She also helped in the war effort in other ways, such as by sending Christmas presents to French soldiers. As an entertainer, Baker had an excuse for moving around Europe, visiting neutral Portugal, coming back to France, and such. Baker assisted the French Resistance by smuggling secrets written in invisible ink on her sheet music.