French-American artist Josephine Baker to enter France's Pantheon

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Josephine Baker, the famed French-American singer and dancer who also fought in the French resistance during WWII, will enter the Pantheon mausoleum on 30 November.

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

The case in favour of the interpreter of the famous song J'ai deux amours was first examined at the end of June by the Élysée Palace, Le Parisien daily newspaper reported on Sunday.

A group including one of Baker's sons campaigning for her induction met with Macron on 21 July, Jennifer Guesdon, one of the members said.

"It's a yes!" President Emmanuel Macron said after the meeting, adds Le Parisien, explaining that the process is one that takes a long time to fulfill.

The Baker family have been requesting her induction since 2013, with a petition gathering some 38,000 signatures.

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

In her home country, the US, she opposed the Ku Klux Klan and worked for the civil rights of African-Americans. In Europe, in the face of Nazism, she became a French counter-intelligence agent and was awarded the Resistance medal after the Second World War.

The ceremony will take place on 30 November, the date Baker married Frenchman Jean Lion, allowing her to get French nationality.

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

Only the president can decide on moving personalities to the former church, whose grand columns and domed roof were inspired by the Pantheon in Rome.

Of the 80 figures in the Pantheon, only five are women, including the last inductee Simone Veil, a former French minister who survived the Holocaust and fought for abortion rights, who entered in 2018.

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