Visit and Subscribe to to read about FAMU’s Marching Band’s rousing performance at the Louis Vuitton Men’s Show and France’s historical love and appreciation of black entertainment.

I write, “This show, as well as others, paid tribute to the genius of Virgil Abloh, a Chicago raised Ghanaian American who gave Louis Vuitton a swagger and cultural resonance that will be hard to replicate. He, along with many black artists, gave the Parisian house an aura of cool, something the French have historically not been afraid to embrace. In 2013, Rick Owens, an American designer who has long lived in Paris, had steppers introduce his show. France’s embrace of black culture goes way back to the days of Josephine Baker, who, after experiencing racism in her home country in the 1920’s, became an international superstar while in Paris, first appearing at the Revue des Negres at the Theatre de Champs Elysees. In a 1974 interview with The Guardian, Baker said, “No, I didn’t get my first break on Broadway. I was only in the chorus in Shuffle Along and Chocolate Dandies. I became famous first in France … I just couldn’t stand America and I was one of the first colored Americans to move to Paris.””

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