I believe James Baldwin moved to France a few decades later for similar reasons. Apparently in the 1950s America was not the best place to be black and gay. I remember seeing a documentary on Josephine Baker long ago. What especially sticks in my mind is how she adopted children from all over the world for the purpose of creating a big happy mixed-race family. What a wonderful idealistic conception. I also recall how, before leaving the US, she prized half of a 500-dollar bill from the fingers of a dead gangster who had promised it to her (having given her the first half) upon completing her performance at a speakeasy. A rival gangster shot him dead during the show. 500 dollars was serious money back then - probably enough to move to France on. Z
A brave wise, and practical lady.