Enter Josephine Baker!

Audio 48:30

Joséphine Baker in the streets of Paris, in December 1930, distributing meals to the most disadvantaged.

© Keystone-France / Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

By: Céline Develay Mazurelle Follow

2 min

Joséphine Baker enters the Pantheon on November 30, 2021. The great icon of the 20th century is the first black woman admitted into the temple of the Republic.

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An immense artist who is both singer, dancer and actress, but also a tireless anti-racist activist and resistance against Nazi Germany, Joséphine Baker led a thousand lives which, together, are more like an adventure or spy novel than a tale of fairies.  

Few of the artists have left such a mark on minds and memories as this Josephine: a legendary woman, born in 1906, nicknamed in her still colonial time, the "black Venus" or "Creole goddess" and whose existence above all expresses a deep and fierce desire for emancipation.

From Cuba to Dakar via the civil rights march in Washington, the American, who landed in Paris in 1925, has always displayed great independence.

A few years ago, Sarah Lefèvre took us for a radio series through the worlds and lives of Josephine.

Today, as she enters the Pantheon, we offer you a new version of this journey.

A journey between her native Missouri, the scenes of Broadway, this Paris of the Roaring Twenties which consecrated her, Casablanca in wartime or its Milandes castle located in Périgord, refuge of her wildest dreams of fraternity. 

A radio portrait of Sarah Lefèvre. 

To read :

- “Joséphine Baker

 ”, by Catel & Bocquet.

Casterman Scriptures.

2016. A major biographical survey in comics that has become a classic 

- "A castle on the moon."

Joséphine Baker's Broken Dream

 ”, by Jean-Claude Bouillon Baker.

Éditions Hors Collection, 2012. The testimony of a child of Joséphine who tells about her mother, the dancer, the singer, but also the committed woman   

- "Josephine Baker against Hitler: the black star of Free France

 ", by Charles Onana.

Éditions Duboiris, 2006. The author of this essay found military archives as well as those of the general intelligence and the FBI which testify to Baker's fights against Hitler, the Nazis and racism, in particular on the occasion of the Washington March. in 1963, with Martin Luther King for civil rights and racial equality.

To have : 

- " 

Zouzou 

", a film by Marc Allégret with Jean Gabin, 1934 

- “

 Princess Tam Tam

 ”, by Edmond T. Gréville, 1935. 

Where to go :

- At the

Panthéon in Paris

 after November 30, 2021 and the entry into its walls of Joséphine Baker.

On this occasion, the Pantheon will open its doors to the general public free of charge on December 4 and 5, 2021

- At the

Château des Milandes

, located in the Dordogne.

Entirely redesigned by Angélique de Saint-Exupéry, its owner, this house-museum faithfully traces the life of the artist and that of his rainbow tribe of 12 children, while insisting on his commitment during the resistance. 

- In the villa of Vésinet, in Yvelines, where Joséphine Baker lived before the war.

It is now privately owned, but once a year, on the occasion of Heritage Days in October,

the Town's Historical Society

 organizes visits to the villa park. 

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