We need something uplifting to conclude our morning, Scissorheads, and this AP story is just the ticket:
PARIS (AP) — The voice of Josephine Baker, speaking and singing, will resonate Tuesday in front of the Pantheon monument in Paris, where she is to symbolically be inducted — becoming the first Black woman to receive France’s highest honor.
French President Emmanuel Macron made the decision in August to honor the “exceptional figure” who “embodies the French spirit,” making Baker also the first American-born citizen and the first performer to be immortalized into the Pantheon. She will join scientist Marie Curie, philosopher Voltaire, writer Victor Hugo and other French luminaries.
The move aims to pay tribute to “a woman whose whole life is looking towards the quest of both freedom and justice,” Macron’s office said.
It should not be lost on anyone that as a black woman, Josephine Baker had to flee the United States to achieve her rightful fame.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Baker became a megastar in the 1930s, especially in France, where she moved in 1925 as she was seeking to flee racism and segregation in the United States.
“The simple fact to have a Black woman entering the pantheon is historic,” Black French scholar Pap Ndiaye, an expert on U.S. minority rights movements, told The Associated Press.
Thank you France for recognizing the extraordinary talent and life of Josephine Baker. I wish we were so capable.