Getting in Some Licks

Baker_stampThere’ll be some celebrating at Chez Josephine (414 W. 42nd St.) in N.Y. on Wednesday night. Jean-Claude and Jerry Baker, the brothers who have owned the restaurant since 1986, will toast the day’s earlier celebration at the Newark, N.J. Museum. During the Black Film Festival, the U.S. Postal Service is celebrating the release of a block of stamps toasting the posters of movies featuring/starring African-American entertainers. One of the stamps’posters is “Princess Tam Tam” (1935) starring Josephine Baker. She adopted Jean-Claude at the age of 14, when he was an orphan who was working as a bellboy in a Paris hotel. Jerry was adopted by Baker in Finland when he was eight months old. They are two of Baker’s 12 adopted children. Jean-Claude and Chris Chase wrote  “Josephine, The Hungry Heart.” Helping to celebrate the event at their eatery, the Baker brothers have set singer Sarah McLawler and trumpeter Jane Davis, who are 85 and 82 years young respectively.

Also appearing for the stamp celebration will be Lynn Whitfield who played Baker in HBO’s “The Josephine Baker Story.” Other stars’ film posters to debut include: Louis Jordan’s “Caledonia,”  Duke Ellington’s “Black and Tan,” Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “The Sport of the Gods” and “Hallelujah.”

Bette Davis will be honored on the anniversary of her 100th birthday Sept. 9 in Boston. The stamp  is the 14th in the “Legends of Hollywood” series. The painting by artist Michael J. Deas for her stamp is based on a still made of Davis during the filming of “All About Eve,” another of her unforgettable performances.

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