A naturalized French but also resistant, anti-racist and feminist artist, Josephine Baker (1906-1975) will become the first black woman to enter the Pantheon on Tuesday, November 30, 2021. For this occasion the school that bears his name in Dijon, Josephine-Baker School near Place Wilson, will discuss the matter with students. At CE1, for example, children will study a comic strip called “Les Culottées” by Penelope Baggio, a book retracing the lives of women who marked history, including Josephine Baker.
“As is the name of our school, the disciples already know this character.”
Josephine Baker, which will be installed in the same basement as Maurice Genevois, Far from being anonymous to the students of this Dijon school. “Because it is the name of our school, the pupils already know this character. We talk about it regularly, Says Anais Fourniret, CE1 class teacher. For example, on November 11, we worked on the resistance and on the fact that it was committed to it. They are very proud to have such an outstanding school name.
For her, she is represented by Josephine Baker ‘A model of courage’. “It allows us to tackle many different topics, such as combating racism, women’s liberation, freedom and justice. We can count on our strong actions”, Refers to Anaïs Fourneret. Is it easy or accurate to approach these concepts conveyed in the story of Josephine Baker? “They are so amazing at that age. For them, racism, women’s liberation, freedom, equality between girls and boys… these are very normal things, The teacher answers. When we come to the topics, they have a lot of things to say, they are very rich. They are very open and easily aware of all these concepts.”
Great historical figures have educational virtues
Josephine Baker is not the only historical figure used in the class. Anais Fourneret also tells using the story of two other women who entered the Pantheon: former Minister Simone Veil – “An excellent model for all his strong action and commitment.” – And the double Nobel Prize (in Physics and Chemistry) Marie Curie – “She turned science upside down and everything she brought with her commitment.”.
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