Baker was the first African-American female to star in a major motion picture, Zouzou (1934), to integrate an American concert hall, and to become a world-famous entertainer.
Baker refused to perform for segregated audiences in the United States, and her insistence on mixed audiences helped to integrate shows in certain parts of the country. Baker also worked with the NAACP and in 1963, she spoke at the March on Washington at the side of Martin Luther King Jr. Baker was the only official female speaker and she introduced the “Negro Women for Civil Rights.”
Peter Tosh of Jamaica was more than a luminary in the development of reggae music. He was the ultimate firebrand, speaking out against oppression around the world in both his songs and his public statements. He was a man who demonstrated the power of personal and artistic integrity, pride and defiance in the face of authoritarian power. His music’s insurrectionary fervor has inspired artists of all stripes, from reggae disciples to punk-rock acolytes like The Clash.
His work trumpeted freedom and the struggle against injustice, and he emphasized the connection between music and revolution by toting a guitar in the shape of an M-16 rifle. Hounded, beaten and jailed by Jamaican authorities, Tosh never backed down or soft-pedaled his views.
Among the causes about which he spoke most eloquently and campaigned most tirelessly were the peril of nuclear weapons and the injustice of South African apartheid. Tosh was the first major songwriter to discuss the apartheid issue openly.