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Black artist Josephine Baker honored at France’s Pantheon

elisfkc2 / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — France has inducted U.S.-born entertainer, anti-Nazi spy and civil rights activist Josephine Baker into the Pantheon. She is the first Black woman to receive the nation’s highest honor. French President Emmanuel Macron presided over an elaborate ceremony Tuesday at the domed Pantheon monument in Paris to immortalize Baker alongside other French luminaries such as philosopher Voltaire, scientist Marie Curie and writer Victor Hugo. The ceremony began on the cobblestoned streets leading to the Pantheon, with recordings of Baker singing and broadcast displays tracing her extraordinary life. Macron paid tribute in a speech, calling Baker “a war hero, fighter, dancer, singer, a Black woman defending Black people but first of all, a woman defending humankind.” 

Associated Press

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