Remembering Lena Horne, 1917-2010

She was a goddess of style  and sexiness, filtered through that cool Philadelphia aura. She defied categorization; “too white” for black  movie roles, but “too colored” for acceptance in the Jim Crow South, “too red” in her political beliefs for the McCarthy era.

Looking back at the age of 80, Ms. Horne said: “My identity is very clear to me now. I am a black woman. I’m free. I no longer have to be a ‘credit.’ I don’t have to be a symbol to anybody; I don’t have to be a first to anybody. I don’t have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I’d become. I’m me, and I’m like nobody else.”

She sure was. Thanks for the memories, Lena.

–Lesley W.

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