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Paulette Nardal at the Pantheon

Thursday, September 15th, 2022

Paulette Nardal at the Pantheon

Cover image: Photo portrait of Paulette Nardal
Source: FLAMME (Archives Territoriales de Martinique)

Last week, I posted an article about my visit to the promenade named after Jane and Paulette Nardal, two sisters from Martinique whose pride in their Blackness served as a springboard to numerous accomplishments. 

At the end of that article, I posted a link to an impressive Website devoted to encouraging the general public to learn about Paulette Nardal and support the campaign to have her inducted into the Pantheon

Portrait of Paulette Nardal
ca. 1920s - Image in the public domain

Even though the site indicates that an English-language version of it exists, clicking on the icon of the British flag in the upper right corner of the Web pages does nothing. So, I'm providing a summary of the site here.

The home page features a banner that describes Nardal as follows: 

Figure du Matrimoine National, Ecrivaine, Féministe et Précurseure du movement de la Négritude (National Heritage Figure, Writer, Feminist, and Precurseur of the Negritude Movement)

Beneath the description is an invitation to vote for Nardal's induction into the Pantheon.

The navigation bar that is superimposed on the banner at the top of the home page and multiple sections found farther down the page provide access to additional Web pages, which present the nonprofit association behind the induction movement, the latest news about Nardal and the movement, Nardal's history (including information about Martinique, her homeland), individuals and associations that support the movement, and of course, a donation page.  

I found the history section of the site to be the most engaging.  There is an extensive review of Nardal's maternal (Famille Achille) and paternal (Famille Nardal) lineage (including photo portraits of family members), where the reader gets to see just how illustrious her family was.  The Famille Nardal page includes profiles of all the Nardal sisters. 

There is also a page that features descendants of the Nardal family. I was intrigued to learn that one of Nardal's nephews lost his life in the Nazi concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen and that one of her nieces, Christiane Eda-Pierre, was a renowned colaratura soprano who sang opera and contemporary music.  The Website describes Eda-Pierre as France's first black singer.

Christiane Eda-Pierre, niece of Paulette Nardal 
Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse - 11 January 1968
André Cros, photographer
CC BY-SA 4.0

Three articles address Nardal's irrefutable contribution to raising black consciousness and pride through the salon that she and sisters Jeanne (Jane) and Andrée hosted in Clamart, as well as the short-lived journal called La Revue du Monde Noir that she co-founded and published in 1931 and 1932. 

Contents of Volume 2 of La Revue du Monde Noir
Fair use claim

If you don't read French, I recommend copying and pasting the text of these profiles into Google Translate so you can appreciate the accomplishments of this remarkable woman and all the members of her family!

The Website was created prior to Josephine Baker's induction into the Pantheon, so its reference to the number of women currently honored there is outdated.  The site specifies that the association seeks to have Nardal honored with a plaque as opposed to having her remains moved to the monument.

To sign the petition in favor of Paulette Nardal's induction into the Pantheon, click HERE.

Photo portrait of Paulette Nardal
Source: FLAMME (Archives Territoriales de Martinique)