Two individuals can be regarded as contrasting illustrations of the good and the bad of human beings. At the top is the exotic Black Venus, Josephine Baker, the American-born French entertainer who won the hearts of Paris and then became a French resistance fighter. At the bottom is Walter Duranty, one of Stalin’s useful idiots, who was the greatest journalist liar of his generation, the model of journalistic mendacity.
On Baker’s birthday, June 3, a petition was signed by thousands of French citizens for her to be buried in the Pantheon in Paris, an honor reserved for the most distinguished French individuals, one that can only be decided by the president of France. In 1961, Baker was awarded by President Charles de Gaulle the Croix de Guerre and named Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. She should be inducted not because she was a woman or because she was black, but because of her acts of courage for the country of which she became a citizen. She would add to the only five women in the Pantheon.
Josephine Baker was born in poverty in East St. Louis, Missouri in 1906. At age 13 she married an Pullman porter, and after a […]
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