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Josephine Baker joins the French Panthéon

Baker will be the sixth female to be honored at the secular temple of the “Great Man” in the French Republic on the hill on the left bank of Paris.

The tomb of French singer Josephine Baker in a cemetery in Monaco, southeastern France. Bakers will be the first black woman to enter the Panthéon in Paris, a mausoleum reserved for the French “great man”. Photo: Valley HACHE / AFP.

Paris-French-American dancer, singer, actress and rights activist Josephine Baker is the first black to enter the mausoleum of a respected historical figure in the French Pantheon on Tuesday, almost half a century after her death. Become a woman.

Baker will be the sixth female to be honored at the secular temple of the “Great Man” in the French Republic on the hill on the left bank of Paris.

She will also be the first immortalized entertainer alongside Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, Marie Curie and more.

The world’s first black female superstar, Pantheonization, is a year-long cap of a campaign for Baker’s family and fans to give her a rare posthumous honor.

President Emmanuel Macron requested in August to acknowledge the fact that Baker’s life was dedicated to the quest for twins of freedom and justice, his office said last week.

Baker is buried in Monaco, where her body remains.

During the ceremony on Tuesday, a casket containing only a handful of Earths from four places where she lived-the American city of St. Louis where she was born. Paris; Milan Castle, where she lived in southwestern France. It is then placed in the tomb reserved for her in the basement of the Monaco-Pantheon.

The casket is brought to the building by members of the French Air Force to commemorate her role in the French resistance during World War II.

Born in poverty

Macron gives a speech, and some of Baker’s relatives read short texts written by pioneering performers.

Baker’s name will soon be added to the name of the Gaite subway station next to the Bobino Theater in southern Paris. Baiter last appeared on stage a few days before his death in 1975.

Freda Josephine McDonald was born in extreme poverty in Missouri in 1906, and Baker graduated from school at the age of 13.

After two unsuccessful marriages (she took the name Baker from her second husband), she was able to land herself on one of Broadway’s first black musicals in 1921.

Like many black-American artists of the time, she moved to France to escape racism in her hometown.

Nicknamed “Black Venus,” the woman swept Paris with her enthusiastic dance performance that captured the energy of the Jazz Age.

One of the decisive moments in her career was the sensational transmission of a colonial fantasy about a black woman, where she wore only a pearl string and a skirt made of rubber bananas. It was when I danced Charleston at the Jerre Cabaret Hall.

Made in France

This performance marked the beginning of a long romance between France and the bohemian-style icon that acquired French nationality in 1937.

With the outbreak of World War II, she joined the resistance to Nazi Germany and became a lieutenant in the French Air Force’s Women’s Auxiliary Corps.

She also became a spy for General Charles de Gaulle, the French wartime asylum leader, and got information about Italian leader Benito Mussolini, her music sheet in invisible ink. I sent a hidden report to London.

“France made me me,” she later said. “Parijans gave me everything … I’m ready to give them my life.”

She also adopted 12 children from different ethnic backgrounds to fight discrimination and form a “rainbow” family in her chateau in the Dordogne region.

She died of a cerebral hemorrhage on April 12, 1975, a few days after her last blockbuster cabaret show in Paris, celebrating half a century on stage at the age of 68.

She is the second woman to be put into the Pantheon by Macron, following former Minister Simone Weil, who survived the Holocaust to fight for the right to abortion and the unity of Europe.

There was no public criticism of the decision to praise Baker, including from the far-right commentator, who is still a sign of universal affection held in France and generally hurt anti-racist gestures. ..



Josephine Baker joins the French Panthéon

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