I remember when Lindbergh arrived in Paris, I was one of the first persons to know about his landing, because as the French people know that I was born in St. Louis, thinking I would be very proud to announce it to the public, they gave me the news first. I was then starring in the 'Folies Bergere.'
The first decade of the twentieth century was not a great time to be born black and poor and female in St. Louis, Missouri, but Vivian Baxter was born black and poor, to black and poor parents. Later she would grow up and be called beautiful. As a grown woman she would be known as the butter-colored lady with the blowback hair.
St. Louis sprawls where mighty rivers meet - as broad as Philadelphia, but three stories high instead of two, with wider streets and dirtier atmosphere, over the dull-brown of wide, calm rivers. The city overflows into the valleys of Illinois and lies there, writhing under its grimy cloud.