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Showing posts from May, 2010

Lola in The Guardian: Lena Horne, a true breakthrough act

With the passing of singer, actor and entertainer Lena Horne in New York yesterday at the age of 92, we remember yet another person – an African-American woman – whose life and work paved the way for America to be what it is today. It was the perseverance and passion of people like Lena Horne that helped shift America away from the accepted segregation and discrimination of the 40s, 50s and 60s to having an African-American president in 2010. In Horne's day, being a black actress was a civil rights act within itself. Lena Horne will be remembered as a woman who stood strong, for more than 70 years, in the face of what could have been spirit-crushing discrimination. In doing so, she leaves a legacy of inspiration and empowerment as well as wonderful music and memories for many Americans. Horne's career started at 16 when her mother sent her to sing in the chorus at Harlem's Cotton Club (which still exists), an entertainment venue where black entertainers performed for wealth…