Monday, May 10, 2010

Remembering When the Line had to be Broken - RIP Lena Horne

A Goddess who walked on earth.. departed from us today,

Her Talent was recognized early in life when she began her career in 1933 at 16 years old, by dancing in the chorus line at the Cotton Club in Harlem; to help to feed her family. she was in her own words A Butterfly.
"They didn't make me into a maid, but they didn't make me into anything else either," she wrote in "Lena," her 1965 autobiography. "I became a butterfly pinned to a column singing away in Movieland."
Signed by MGM to a seven-year contract in an era when no other blacks were under long-term contracts at the major movie studios, Horne went on to become one of the best-known African American performers in the country.
With her copper-toned skin, strong cheekbones and dazzling smile, she was a breakthrough on the silver screen — "Hollywood's first black beauty, sex symbol, singing star," as Vogue magazine described her decades later.
"I was unique in that I was a kind of black that white people could accept," Horne once said. "I was their daydream. I had the worst kind of acceptance because it was never for how great I was or what I contributed. It was because of the way I looked."
We recognize her for today for her groundbreaking stances against racism and sexism. Her work as a civil rights activist is rooted in her feelings about the racism that she experienced in her career
"The Horne demeanor — distant and aloof — suggested that she was a woman off somewhere in a world of her own …. who appeared as if all her life she had been placed on a pedestal and everything had come easily to her. That was the way she appeared to be.... The reality was another matter."
Her Awards chest was full and they were all well deserved. she was beautiful, smart and had the edge during the segregated 40's - 60's in places that rarely booked Black performers. we recognize her strength and her commitment.
As Horne said in the documentary "Lena Horne: In Her Own Voice": "My life has been about surviving. Along the way I also became an artist. It's been an interesting journey. One in which music became first my refuge and then my salvation."
Horne was a Kennedy Center Honors recipient in 1984, and she received a lifetime achievement award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences in 1998.
A More Comprehensive BIO on Ms. Horne is Listed her on the NYT. We will follow this up later in the week after we've had a chance to aggregate more career wise of signifigance on her legendary life.

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askcherlock said...

The beauty of Lena Horne, both physically and through her music, will long be her legacy. In her early years, she actually spent a lot of time here in Pittsburgh, playing the jazz and blues clubs. She set the path for young women of color to follow in her lead and is well-known for mentoring them. She was a gift to us all.


May she rest in peace

RE Ausetkmt said...

Cher somehow in my mind I always thought of her more as an actor than a singer, even though that's what she did in the movies. I guess it comes from watching her on the Cosby Show. she was beautiful, talented and graceful in a very different time in america.

Yes Cher, she was truly a gift to the world.

RE Ausetkmt said...

Solomonsydelle she was a civil rights icon who gave us her last; so earning that right to peace, at last.