Joséphine Baker's Love for Paris & Alsace Wine
A street sign in Paris honours the late Joséphine Baker.
On November 30, French-American civil rights activist Joséphine Baker became the first black woman to enter the Panthéon in Paris, where she was honoured with a memorial with a plaque. The sixth woman to be "Panthéonised" was born in the US but later moved to Paris, where she became a music hall star and Resistance fighter during World War Two.
To mark Baker's induction into the Panthéon, the Hugel winery in Alsace has released a photo of a lunch with her and a note she wrote in the House's guest book when she visited on 30 December 1931.
"I have two great loves, my Paris and your Alsace wine Riquewihr Hugel" she wrote.
After the war Joséphine Baker turned her attention to civil rights in the US and her adopted country of France. In 1963, she made an appearance at the March on Washington alongside civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, when he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.
She died in 1975 and her family and supporters had petitioned for years for her to be recognised with one of France's highest honours, joining luminaries like scientists Pierre and Marie Curie and writer Émile Zola.
Her links to the wine world go beyond Alsace – the California-based EMBRAZEN brand has a Revolutionary Red Blend inspired by Baker with a picture of her on the label.
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