Franco-American artist Joséphine Baker enters the French Pantheon

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Joséphine Baker, the famous Franco-American singer and dancer who also fought in the French resistance during World War II, will enter the Pantheon mausoleum on November 30.

Joséphine Baker, born in Missouri in 1906 and buried in Monaco in 1975, will be the first black woman to be buried in the sacred Parisian monument.

The case in favor of the performer of the famous song I have two loves was examined for the first time at the end of June by the Élysée, The Parisian daily reported Sunday.

A group including one of Baker’s sons campaigning for his induction met with Macron on July 21, said Jennifer Guesdon, one of the members.

“It’s a yes!” President Emmanuel Macron said after the meeting, adds The Parisian, explaining that the process is a very time consuming process.

Josephine Baker in the 1920s. © – AFP / File

The Baker family has been asking for his induction since 2013, with a petition collecting some 38,000 signatures.

Joséphine Baker poses during the Concours d'Elegance Automobile at the Bois de Boulogne waterfall, near Paris, on June 23, 1949.
Joséphine Baker poses during the Concours d’Elegance Automobile at the Bois de Boulogne waterfall, near Paris, on June 23, 1949. © AFP / File

“She was an artist, the first black international star, a muse of the Cubists, a resistance fighter during World War II in the French army, active alongside Martin Luther King in the fight for civil rights”, indicates the petition .

In her home country, the United States, she opposed the Ku Klux Klan and worked for the civil rights of African Americans. In Europe, facing Nazism, she became a French counter-espionage agent and obtained the Resistance medal after World War II.

In this archive photo taken on August 19, 1961, US-born artist Joséphine Baker receives the Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre with palm in her Château des Milandes.
In this archive photo taken on August 19, 1961, US-born artist Joséphine Baker receives the Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre with palm in her Château des Milandes. © AFP / File

The ceremony will take place on November 30, when Baker married Frenchman Jean Lion, allowing him to obtain French nationality.

The Pantheon is a memorial complex of major national figures in French history from the political, cultural and scientific world.

Only the president can decide to move personalities in the old church, whose large columns and domed roof were inspired by the Pantheon in Rome.

Of the 80 personalities in the Pantheon, only five are women, including the last inducted Simone Veil, a former French minister who survived the Holocaust and fought for the right to abortion, who entered in 2018.


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