Josephine Baker to be first Black woman to enter France’s Panthéon


Receiving the Légion d’honneur and the Croix de Guerre

The remains of Josephine Baker, a famed French-American dancer, singer and actor who also worked with the French resistance during the second world war, will be moved to the Panthéon mausoleum in November, according to an aide to President Emmanuel Macron.

It will make Baker, who was born in Missouri in 1906 and buried in Monaco in 1975, the first Black woman to be laid to rest in the hallowed Parisian monument.

“She was an artist, the first Black international star, a muse of the cubists, a resistance fighter during the second world war in the French army, active alongside Martin Luther King in the civil rights fight,” the petition says.

Another member of the campaign group, Pascal Bruckner, said Baker “is a symbol of a France that is not racist, contrary to what some media groups say”, as well as “a true anti-fascist”…

The Panthéon is a memorial complex for great national figures in French history from the world of politics, culture and science.

Josephine Baker was a significant African-American talent in dance, music and film in the United States. A brave anti-fascist fighter in the French Underground during World War 2. Activist in the US civil rights movement.

Monk caught with nun’s skeleton at airport

A Cypriot monk caught at a Greek airport with the skeletal remains of a nun in his baggage on the weekend told authorities he was taking the relics of a saint back to his monastery…

Revering the skeletal remains of saints is common in the Greek Orthodox tradition. A sect within the church may have venerated the nun even though she was not an official saint.

In many churches, venerated relics are put on display for the faithful to touch or kiss and a box for collecting donations from the faithful placed nearby.

“It appears to be the work of charlatans with a financial interest…”, [said] Cyprus’s Archbishop Chrysostomos…

Appears to be?

The monk was … suspended from his monastic duties for three months for going away without leave….

Uh, o.k.

What’s in a corpse? Ask the three countries fighting over Mother Theresa’s.

India has rejected a demand by the Albanian government for the return of the remains of Nobel laureate Mother Teresa, buried in the city of Calcutta.

“Mother Teresa was an Indian citizen and she is resting in her own country, her own land,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said.

A spokeswoman for the nun’s Missionaries of Charity described the Albanian request as “absurd”.

Mother Teresa, an ethnic Albanian, was born in Skopje, now part of Macedonia.

Correspondents say that the row over her resting place could develop into an ugly three-way squabble between India, where she worked most of her life, Albania where her parents came from and Macedonia where she lived the first 18 years of her life.

The row is expected to intensify by August next year – the 100th anniversary of Mother Teresa’s birth – by which time many commentators expect her to have been canonised as a saint.

The ethnic Albanian nun, who was known as the “Saint of the Gutters” for her work among the poor of Calcutta, was given Indian citizenship in 1951….

After her death in September 1997, Mother Teresa was buried at the Calcutta headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity (MoC), which is now a pilgrimage site.

Maybe they could bring her to Memphis to co-star with Elvis?