15 December 2021
Josephine Baker by George Hoyningen Huene, 1934
Paris Noir! Josephine Baker and Black American Culture in Jazz-Age Paris
with Chris Boïcos
On 30 November 2021 the American entertainer, war resistant and Civil Rights activist, Josephine Baker will enter the Paris Pantheon, the memorial monument in which France buries its “grands hommes (and more recently grandes femmes) de la patrie.” She will be the sixth woman, third person of color and first American to be “pantheonized.”
Our lecture will be devoted to the first exuberant years of Josephine’s career as dancer and singer in Jazz-Age Paris, but also the story of the many Black Americans who made their home in Paris in the inter-war period, turning the city into the second capital of Black American culture after Harlem.
The WWI jazz band of the Harlem Hellfighters of the 369th Regiment, writers Langston Hughes and Claude McKay, publisher and art patron Nancy Cunard, musicians and entertainers Sidney Bechet, Henry Crowder and Ada ‘Bricktop’ Smith, boxer Al Brown and artists Henry Ossawa Tanner and Loïs Mailou Jones, are a few of the historic figures we will be covering.
The Negro Anthology of essays, articles, illustrations & more by a melting pot of prominent cultural figures of the 1930s from Ezra Pound to W.E.Dubois.
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