Josephine Baker

Women Empowerment


First Black Woman to be Honored with Paris Burial



The remains of American-born singer and dancer Josephine Baker will be buried at the Panthéon monument in Paris, making the entertainer the first Black woman to get the country’s highest honor.

  • Le Parisien newspaper reported that French President Emmanuel Macron decided to organize a ceremony on November 30 at the Paris monument.
  • Baker was buried in Monaco in 1975, dressed in a French military uniform with the medals she received for her role as part of the French Resistance during the war.
  • Baker will be the fifth woman to be honored with a Panthéon burial and will also be the first artist.
  • Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Baker became a megastar in the 1930s, especially in France.
  • In 1925 she moved to France seeking to flee racism and segregation in the United States.
  • She became famous for her “banana skirt” dance routines and wowed audiences at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and later at the Folies Bergère in Paris.
  • In 1937 she became a French citizen after her marriage to industrialist Jean Lion.
  • During WWII, she joined the French Resistance.
  • She took part in 1963 in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who made his “I Have a Dream” speech.

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