“Forgotten Hollywood”- In the Pantheon of All-Time Greats…

Posted on November 30, 2021 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`Josephine Baker, the American-born entertainer, wartime spy, and civil rights activist who first achieved fame in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s, was given France’s highest honor today when she was inducted into the French Pantheon, the nation’s mausoleum of heroes. She is the first performing artist, first Black woman, and initial American honored with a Pantheon induction.

“`As a teenager, Josephine moved to New York City and began performing with an all-Black dance troupe. She was discovered by a talent scout from Paris. Baker arrived in the French capital in 1925, at age nineteen. Baker became a fixture in shows at Les Folies Bergères, a famous music hall. She was a symbol of the Jazz Age, dominating France’s cabarets with a sense of humor, her frantic dancing and her iconic songs. One of America’s members of the Lost Generation, her contributions coincided with the talents of Pablo Picasso, Cole Porter, Ernest Hemingway, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

“`French President Emmanuel Macron presided over this evening’s official ceremony, broadcast live on French television, and included Baker’s family members, politicians, Monaco’s Prince Albert II, and crowds of spectators. The idea of Baker’s inclusion in the Pantheon was first proposed in 2013, and gained traction in recent years as France reckons with racism, its colonial past, and questions about their success of its model of social integration.

“`Eighty other luminaries, such as Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Marie Curie, are among those laid to rest in the Paris monument. Baker remains buried in Monaco.  Her addition is commemorated with a plaque on a cenotaph. France has awarded Baker with several big honors over the years — a French Resistance medal, the Croix de Guerre, and in 1961, upon recognition by President de Gaulle, the Legion of Honor.

“`Today’s ceremony symbolizes the pioneering spirit of Josephine Baker (above).

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021 at 5:04 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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