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AfriGeneas Writers Forum

Re: Paris Congress:J.Claude Baker Responds

Salut Afrigeneas Writers Forum:

I forwarded my earlier posting about the 1956 Congress of Black Writers and Artists to Jean-Claude Baker, one of Josephine's adopted children.

“Hi Jean Claude:

I thought that you would be interested in the message that I just posted on…. The link below will take you my discussion on the Paris 1956 Congress of Writers and Artists. It includes a message from Josephine saying that she could not attend.

This is interesting because a friend at the French Embassy said that she did attend. Hmm...

So enjoy reading her words. The Gallery on the same page on the left includes a poster of Josephine in Paris.”

You may have heard of Jean-Claude's exquisitely beautiful restaurant in New York’s Theater Row district.

Chez Josephine is not just a culinary tribute to his mother Josephine. It’s a gathering place for the well known and unknown; TV journalists; sleek financiers; French expatriates; African diplomats; sophisticated police captains; Yuppies and Buppies; chic “Fashionistas”; still beautiful, charming, over made up, overdressed women-of-a-certain-age; intense Black writers; Broadway artists and technicians; jazz musicians and rock stars; slick-haired men sporting pinky rings; jazz loving Japanese businessmen…briefcase in tow; and a dab or two of celebrity pastors and priests.

Presiding over this soiree of intrigue is the endearing and sometimes outrageous Jean-Claude Baker. His flamboyance sometimes clouds a steely dedication to the legacy of Josephine Baker and black entertainers. Jean-Claude Baker, like all of us at Afrigeneas, used primary research and impeccable secondary sources to chronicle the history of Josephine Baker. His definitive biography on his mother, “Josephine: The Hungry Heart” was published in 1993.

"Bravo! The writers' bewitchment with the sensuous Baker is contagious.
[Josephine's] exotic beauty, flaming ambition, flashing eyes, rolling hips,
small and large peculiarities seduce the reader." - MAYA ANGELOU

Below are Jean-Claude’s comments about the note from Josephine Bouillon (Baker) and one of the American attendees.

Jean-Claude Baker:

“Thank you for thinking of me.

This note was written by Josephine's secretary most certainly, because Les Milandes is not in Provence but in the Perigord.

But the classical signature "your sister...." very Josephine, writing to African-American.

As for Josephine Bouillon, she used it very rarely.



Who was M. Cook in 1956 guest speaker?

Could it be Mercer Cook? Will Marion's son and Louis Douglas brother in law? and of course my very dear friend...


Many thanks to Jean-Claude Baker for his comments. Mercer Cook was part of the US Delegation’s “Congress of Negro African Writers and Artists”.

If you’d like to experience Chez Josephine, please click on the link below.


Write Away

Messages In This Thread

Paris: Congress of Black Writers & Artists
Re: Paris: Congress of Black Writers & Artists
Re: Paris Congress:J.Claude Baker Responds

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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