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December 19, 2010

Heroes: Lena Calhoun Horne (1917-2010)

Lena Horne died on May 9 of this year. She had natural class and confidence. She lived her life as a work of art. She could sing, dance, act. She could, and did, stand up to talentless arrogance, straight-up bullies and inelegance in all its forms--both before and after she became powerful in her own right. If you're of the greatest generation, you think of her as glamorous. If you're a Boomer, she's the best of the Civil Rights movement. And if you were born after 1970, you might be curious about a New Yorker who begins life in a rapidly-changing Bedford–Stuyvesant, moves South without parents, heads back up to Brooklyn, becomes a Cotton Club mainstay at 17, breaks records in more than walk of life, and lives to be 92. Start here, here or here. Add her to our Pantheon.

1941 photo (Carl Van Vechten)

Posted by JD Hull at December 19, 2010 11:59 PM


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