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With a well-deserved honor, Josephine Baker is making history once again.

On Nov. 30, the legendary entertainer was celebrated with a burial in the Panthéon monument in Paris — making her the first Black woman, first performer and first American-born citizen to receive France’s greatest honor. Notably, she’s also the sixth woman to receive the national acknowledgment.

Her voice, “speaking and singing,” resonates in front of the Panthéon today, according to the Associated Press. Additionally, “A coffin carrying soils from the U.S., France and Monaco will be deposited inside the Pantheon” as a way to symbolically make Baker’s burial in the historic site a reality.

The entertainer’s family helped closely prepare today’s ceremony and are said to have attended the day’s festivities. 

Baker’s body will remain in Monaco, where she was laid to rest after her death in 1975, at the request of her loved ones.

FRANCE-MUSIC-JOSEPHINE BAKER

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France President Emmanuel Macron dubbed Baker an “exceptional figure” who “embodies the French spirit.” His office further explained that Baker’s presence in the Panthéon aims to recognize “a woman whose whole life was looking towards the quest of both freedom and justice” — a reference to Baker’s work as both a World War II spy and civil rights activist.

The legend’s coffin will be carried into the Panthéon by members of the French air force, another tribute specific to Baker’s “role in the French Resistance during World War II,” detailed by French 24.

As MADAMENOIRE reported in August, when Macron approved Baker’s induction into the Pantheon, the entertainer’s peers in the historical site include 80 other French national heroes and luminaries like scientist Marie Curie, philosopher Voltaire and writer Victor Hugo.

Baker’s prolific influence all over the world, not just in France, can’t be understated. Read more about her here and check out BBC NEWS take that further explains why Baker is a national treasure:

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