In Her Shoes Home
Lena Horne (1917-2010)
“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.”
Yesterday the world said goodbye to the stunningly beautiful and amazingly talented jazz artist, actress and activist, Lena Horne. At the age of 92, this classy lady had been honored with Grammys, Tonys and the NAACP’s highest award. Born and raised in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, Lena Horne was the granddaughter of a freed slave armed with the tenacity to overcome the bigotry that allowed her to entertain white audiences but not socialize with them. She embodied brains, beauty, grace, dignity, tenacity, endurance, and a silent type of strength that many could feel but never quite comprehend.
Rest in peace and love, Miss Lena Horne. Your legacy will live on forever!
“This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll. It’s for every nameless, faceless woman of color who now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.”
– Halle Berry, 2002 Oscar award acceptance speech