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Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Plaque for Beauford

For almost a year, I have been mulling over the possibility of having a plaque dedicated to Beauford affixed to the façade of a building in Paris. There are already three plaques in Paris that honor African Americans - one for Richard Wright (6th arrondissement), one for Louis Armstrong* (9th arrondissement), and one for Carole Denise Fredericks (18th arrondissement). I think it would be fitting for Beauford's plaque to be hung in the 14th arrondissement - in Montparnasse - since this is the area of Paris that he called home for most of his years in France.

Louis Armstrong plaque
© Discover Paris!
*Beauford knew and sketched Armstrong during Beauford's "New York Years."

Inspired by the recent inauguration of the Fredericks plaque, I asked Carole's sister, Connie Fredericks-Malone, how she went about obtaining the various permissions required to have Carole's plaque installed. As I expected, she told me that the path was long and tortuous and that much time and patience was required. But surprisingly, the number of steps required is small.

Mairie of the 14th Arrondissement
© Discover Paris!

In late July, on behalf of Les Amis de Beauford Delaney, I took the first steps down the road to making Beauford's plaque a reality. I visited the mairie (town hall) of the 14th arrondissement and asked for the name of the person I needed to contact to submit my request. I was given a form to complete and a document showing the name and photo of the official who will address my inquiry. I completed the form and mailed it in.

Given that it is August and almost all self-respecting Parisians have vacated the city, I do not expect to hear anything from this official until the rentrée - the return from summer vacation. I will publish updates on the Les Amis blog as things progress.

Wish us luck!


elkornegay said...

The spirit of Beauford is on your side! All the best in this, your latest admirable endeavor.

About Beauford Delaney said...

Thank you, E. L.!