April 22, 2024



Josephine Baker, music hall star and civil rights activist, enters Panthéon

The Guardian



Josephine Baker, the French-American civil rights activist, music hall superstar and second world war resistance hero, is set to become the first Black woman to enter France’s Panthéon mausoleum of revered historical figures – taking the nation’s highest honour at a moment when tensions over national identity and immigration are dominating the run-up to next year’s presidential race.

The elaborate ceremony on Tuesday – presided over by the French president, Emmanuel Macron – will focus on Baker’s legacy as a resistance fighter, activist and anti-fascist who fled the racial segregation of the 1920s US for the Paris cabaret stage, and who fought for inclusion and against hatred.

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