One very talented black woman!
Lena Horne, the gal with the golden voice, had an amazing list of accomplishments. She began life as Lena Mary Calhoun Horne in 1917, and became arguably the most famous black female entertainer of her era. She acted on the stage, in the movies, recorded songs, and danced and sang her way across the color lines of America.
An extremely intelligent woman, she came from a rich and diverse family. Her father was a gambling kingpin and her mother was an actor. Her grandfather was an inventor (curtain rods!) and her uncle was a highly esteemed educator who became an advisor to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
During the forties she was a night club performer and film actress.
During the fifties, a victim of the red scare, she was blacklisted from the movies. Undaunted, she returned to nightclubs.
During the sixties she was a popular television performer.
Throughout her career she released album after album of gorgeous, golden throated songs.
Lena experienced racial prejudice many times during her career. For instance, she was the first black performer to sign a long term contract in Hollywood, yet she was often edited out of films so they could be shown in the south. Occurrences like this merely presented her with the opportunity to set the standard for performers to follow.
Indeed, she was not only undaunted by instances of prejudice, but was more than likely inspired by them, as she became a staunch cicvil rights activist. She often spoke and performed at civil rights events, and took part in the famous March on Washington with Martin Luther King, Jr. She also met JFK, and she helped Eleanor Roosevelt pass anti-lynching laws.
Her list of accomplishments is truly incredible, eight grammies being included in over twenty significant awards.
Eight grammy awards.
Two Tony awards.
Over twenty movies.
Many television appearances.
Over thirty albums.
Anybody wishing to experience just a drop of this marvelous ladies talent need only tune in the eternal hit…Stormy Weather.