We just lost a legend. But Lena Horne’s courage and brilliance will live on forever.
Lena Horne, a Brooklyn-bred songstress got an early start singing at the Cotton Club. Horne’s resiliency to be respected not only for her beauty, but for her talent broke strict racial barriers. Denied roles because of her race, folks even petitioned against her residency in Beverly Hills. Still throughout her 70-year career, the singer and actress remained vocal against racial discrimination working closely with Paul Robeson and Eleanor Roosevelt. Horne even refused to perform for segregated troops during World War II. Lena Horne was also an active member in service organization Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. Lena Horne performed from Broadway to the big screen, most notably her renowned role in the all-Black musical Stormy Weather. But for many us, our earliest memory is listening to the legend serenade us as children on “Sesame Street.” Or when she dazzled us with her age-less looks and sass during her cameo on “A Different World.”
A pioneer has transcended and her memory remains etched in America’s most magnificent iconography. Check out a younger Lena Horne singing with the Teddy Wilson Orchestra in 1943.