The remains of Josephine Baker – the American-born French dancer, singer, actress and activist who died in 1975 – are being transferred to the Panthéon in Paris, the New York Times reports. She becomes the first black woman and one of only a few figures born abroad to be buried in the legendary grave. The Panthéon is also the final resting place of icons such as Marie Curie, Victor Hugo, Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The funeral will take place on November 30th.
President Emmanuel Macron reportedly came at the urging of a petition signed by over 40,000 people demanding the move. The Times noted the symbolic nature of the move. “How could a woman who came from a discriminated and very poor background fulfill her destiny and become a world star,” said the writer Laurent Kupferman, who started the petition. “It was possible in France at a time when it wasn’t in the United States.”