Martinican actress and singer Jenny Alpha (1910-2010), a leading exponent of Creole culture, died Wednesday, September 8, at the age of 100.
Her fight for recognition of Creole culture and her incredible talent as an actress and singer were celebrated with a Honour Trophy award on September 21, 2009 at the 4th Awards of the French “Trophées des Arts Afro-Caribéens”.
An icon of Martinique has gone to join her old friends, Duke Ellington, Aime Cesaire, Josephine Baker, and many others.
The blog Repeating Islands wrote: The announcement of her death has prompted many reactions in France and overseas. Overseas Minister Marie-Luce Penchard praised the “exceptional and talented woman” that Jenny Alpha has been; ministerial delegate
Patrick Karam recalled the “talent and elegance of one of the greatest overseas artists of the 20th century.” Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, traveling to the Caribbean, paid tribute to “a pioneer of the arts” who “made her life a struggle for black women to have their full rights.”
Jean-François Lamour and Philippe Goujon, deputies from the 15th arrondissement, where the actress lived, expressed that she “embodied with panache the richness of French cultural life of the 20th century, at the crossroads of multiple influences.” And President of the General Council of Martinique Claude Lise praised “the exceptional trajectory of an artist of outstanding standards” with a “talent that overcame all difficulties and all prejudices.” Read more here
A child of the diaspora has died. Jenny Alpha, rest in peace.