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    France, Joséphine Baker’s entry to the Panthéon tomorrow

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    PARIS – France prepares to enter Josephine Baker’s Panthéon. The Franco-American dancer, singer and actress who hypnotized Paris with shows that mocked colonialism and who later joined the Resistance against Nazism during the Second World War, will enter the republican mausoleum dedicated to the personalities who have marked the history of the country tomorrow.
    An anti-racist militant historian together with Martin Luther King, she will be the first black woman to enter the French Pantheon and the sixth woman overall out of the approximately 80 personalities who have obtained this maximum recognition. The date of November 29 corresponds to that day in 1937 on which he acquired French citizenship. The solemn ceremony was set for 5.30 pm with the participation, among others, of President Emmanuel Macron.
    As with the heroines of the resistance Geneviève de Gaulle-Anthonioz and Germaine Tillion, the remains of Josephine Baker, who passed away in 1975 at the age of 68, will not actually be transferred to the Panthéon, as is the case in most cases, but will remain, as requested by her, in the Principality of Monaco, alongside her husband Jo Bouillon and her friend Princess Grace of Monaco. In place of the coffin, a cenotaph with four fists of earth dear to her will be brought: a fistful of earth from Saint-Louis, her hometown in the United States, another from Paris, her adopted city (famous is her interpretation of the passage : “J’ai deux amours mon Pays e Paris”), one third of Milandes, his castle in the Dordogne and the last one in Monaco. Baker will also be the first figure in the show to be honored with a symbolic place in the centuries-old shrine, the final resting place of a long list of personalities from the worlds of politics, culture and science, including Victor Hugo, Emile Zola and Marie Curie. . The last woman to enter the Panthéon was the survivor of the Nazi extermination camps, former Minister of Health and “mother” of Europe as the first president of the European Parliament, Simone Veil, in 2018. Paris plans to name Josephine Baker also a subway station.
    Born Freda Josephine McDonald in extreme poverty in Missouri in 1906, the artist left school at 13. After two failed marriages – she was named Baker from her second husband – she managed to land a spot in one of the first all-black musicals on Broadway in 1921. Like many African American artists of the time, she moved to France to escape apartheid.

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    Source From: Ansa

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