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Josephine Baker remains a woman to be celebrated and respected for her contributions.

As an activist, dancer, singer, universal mother and fashion icon. we are excited about

the most recent international honor she received. In our previous blog post we shared that Baker was honored with a Pantheon burial in France (posthumously).

Receently, France announced the first round of 10, 20 and 50 euro coins. Three women are featured and Josephine is among them. Baker and Marie Curie also share the honor of Pantheon burials. Josephine isthe only woman of color in the historic Pantheon mausoleum. She is possibly the only woman of color honored in France with a coin bearing her likeness. For this reason, and many more, we celebrate Josephine Baker this Women's History Month!

Pictured abov above: the new coin, Pantheon image,, France's stamps and the U.S. postage stamp.

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Josephine Baker was honored in Paris on November 30, 2021 with a spectacular ceremony that was attended by thousands. Stay tuned for further posts where we will share links from

the event.

Since BBS could not attend the Paris event, we spoke with Dr. Steven Lewis from the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Mr. Lewis is the Curator of

Music and Performing Arts at the museum. We had a lively conversation to celebrate

Josephine's honor. The entire video can be viewed here. Also, if you are in DC, please

be sure to visit and see the floor to ceiling image of Josephine and everything the museum has to offer.

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After public outcry and a petition that BBS also signed, it was announced that Josephine

Baker's remains will be reinterred at the Panthéon in Paris. The Panthéon was originally

designed as a temple for great men. The interior is decorated with paintings and mosaics

that depict scenes from French history. It is the burial space for kings, a queen, famous

authors, and other esteemed individuals including Voltaire,Victor Hugo and Marie Curie. It

was recently announced that Josephine will be the first Black woman to have her final

resting space in this historic building.*

Originally, Baker was buried in Monaco in 1975, dressed in her French military uniform

with the medals she received for her role as part of the French Resistance during the war.

(Clearly what one wears is in itself a fashion statement and in this case also a political one.

It's always about the power of fashion for BBS!) Medals and a military funeral... she was/is

clearly a force to be reckoned with! This recognition in Paris is perhaps the highest honor

for Ms. Baker, and is well deserved.

Josephine was the first African American to star in a major motion picture, to integrate an

American concert hall, and to become a world-famous entertainer. She is also noted for her

contributions to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. She was the only woman to

deliver a speech at the March on Washington. In 2008, she was honored with a U.S.

postage stamp as part of the Black Cinema Series. Today, we also like to celebrate her

fashion panache and style. She is a true Icon.

* Baker's family has decided against moving her body. Instead she will be honored with a

plaque inside the Panthéon.

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