Josephine Baker to become first Black woman interred at Pantheon

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Franco-American singer Josephine Baker will receive a burial at the Pantheon monument in Paris, the French presidency confirmed to media following a report in Le Parisien.

Baker, a revered World War II resistance figure and civil rights activist, is the sixth woman to receive the honour of being interred at the Pantheon.

Le Parisien reported that the ceremony will take place in late November.

The last woman to be buried at the Pantheon was Simone Veil, a former French minister and Holocaust survivor who is known for writing the law legalising abortion in the country.

Baker is the first artist to be interred at the monument and joins the likes of scientist Marie Curie, French philosopher Voltaire, writer Victor Hugo and other French luminaries.

After her death in 1975, Baker was buried in Monaco, dressed in a French military uniform with the medals she received for her role as part of the French Resistance during the war.

Baker was born in St Louis, Missouri in 1906 but moved to France in 1925 seeking to flee racism in the US. She became a huge star in the 1930s.

During World War II, she joined the French Resistance, collected information from German officials she met at parties and carried hidden messages to different countries.


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