The day after a newspaper article The Parisian revealing the decision to honor the memory of Josephine Baker, the Elysee Palace said the Franco-American artist will enter the Pantheon “because she is the embodiment of the French spirit,” pleaded the presidency on Monday.
Joséphine Baker (1906-1975), “engaged in the Resistance, tireless anti-racist activist” and “incarnation of the French spirit”, will enter the Pantheon on November 30, confirms the presidency in a press release.
First black woman in the Pantheon
“Through this destiny, France distinguishes an exceptional personality, born American, having chosen, in the name of the fight she led all her life for freedom and emancipation, the eternal France of the Universal Enlightenment”, adds the Elysee .
The ceremony will make the famous magazine leader, born in Missouri and buried in Monaco, the first black woman to rest in the secular necropolis. However, the body of Joséphine Baker “will remain in Monaco where she is buried in the marine cemetery,” Jean-Claude Bouillon-Baker, one of the artist’s children, said on Sunday.
The Franco-American artist Joséphine Baker will become on November 30 the sixth woman to enter the Pantheon in France, after Sophie Berthelot, the physicist Marie Curie, the resistance fighters Germaine Tillion and Geneviève de Gaulle-Anthonioz, as well as Simone Veil, figure of the political life.
For more than a century, the Pantheon has been the secular necropolis of the great personalities who have marked the history of France, whose memory “grateful homeland” wishes to honor. This imposing building dominates the Sainte-Geneviève mountain, one of the hillocks of Paris, in the center of the capital.
Janice Thomas is a content editor at 24 News Recorder. She has 5 years of journalism experience and she he is a graduate of Wittenberg University and holds a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.