Black Heroines of World War II: Women who Fought the Nazis
Annette Joseph-Gabriel - Professor, University of Michigan
As spies, nurses and clandestine couriers, Black French women played vital, overlooked roles in the anti-Nazi war effort. Paulette Nardal issued a call to arms against fascism in the 1930s. Eugénie Éboué-Tell joined the women’s auxiliary corps in Central Africa. Jane Vialle, an operative for Combat in Southern France, was arrested in 1943 for treason, but survived and became a Senator. Josephine Baker’s fight against Hitler’s Regime from Berlin to Portugal has earned her a place in the Pantheon of French heroism.
Annette Joseph-Gabriel is Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies, University of Michigan and author, Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire (University of Illinois Press, 2020). Introductory remarks by Virginia Allen, Staten Island’s“Black Angel” nurse, who saw Josephine Baker at her final performance at Carnegie Hall.
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