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Monday, May 10, 2010

years and years ago

on some talk show (it could have even been merv, i really don't remember or it could even have been ed bradley's interview with her on 60 minutes...), lena told a story. she said 'they' (they meaning the powers than ran show biz) could get her more gigs if she was willing to 'pass'. they could say she was brazilian or some other exotic south american nationality. lena said NOPE. i'm black and that's how it is

lena you inspired and entertained. you were courageous. you were one of the women that went before. you paved the way. i thank you

Lena Horne, Singer and Actress, Dies at 92
Lena Horne, who was the first black performer to be signed to a long-term contract by a major Hollywood studio and who went on to achieve international fame as a singer, died on Sunday night at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York. She was 92 and lived in Manhattan.

Her death was announced by her son-in-law, Kevin Buckley.

Ms. Horne might have become a major movie star, but she was born 50 years too early, and languished at MGM in the 1940s because of the color of her skin, although she was so light-skinned that, when she was a child, other black children had taunted her, accusing her of having a “white daddy.”

Ms. Horne was stuffed into one “all-star” musical after another — “Thousands Cheer” (1943), “Broadway Rhythm” (1944), “Two Girls and a Sailor” (1944), “Ziegfeld Follies” (1946), “Words and Music” (1948) — to sing a song or two that could easily be snipped from the movie when it played in the South, where the idea of an African-American performer in anything but a subservient role in a movie with an otherwise all-white cast was unthinkable............

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