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Saturday, August 30, 2014

SS Liberté - Beauford's Transport on His First Trip to Paris

Beauford embarked on his first voyage to France on August 28, 1953, sailing on the French ocean liner SS Liberté. His biographer, David A. Leeming, begins his brief description of the trip in Amazing Grace as follows:

The passage from New York to Le Havre was one of the happiest interludes of Beauford's life. On the French ship he was treated with respect, and had the rare luxury of comfortable quarters, three full meals a day, and a midnight snack. Life had never been so easy for him. ...for once there was no shortage of money.

Beauford on the deck of the SS Liberté
Photo from David Leeming’s Amazing Grace

Elsewhere on the Les Amis blog (Beauford's Ocean Voyage to Paris), I have written about the history of the Liberté and the fact that many African Americans enjoyed sailing on this vessel. What I am pleased to share with you today is a link for a treasure trove of photos of the ship, illustrating numerous first class apartments, the spacious dining room, and other areas:

Pinterest - SS Liberté

While I have no details about Beauford's cabin or the deck on which it was located, the common areas of the ship were certainly open to him. The Liberté was very likely the most luxurious accommodation he ever experienced!