In honor of Black History Month I have decided to honor the fabulous, talented, and intelligent women who served as pioneers and inspiration for women of color.
Our First Pioneer is the lovely and beautiful Lena Horne.
Born Lena Mary Calhoun Horne on June 30th, 1917, she was an American singer, actress, civil rights activist and dancer. Horne joined the chorus of the Cotton Club at the age of sixteen and became a nightclub performer before moving to Hollywood, where she had small parts in numerous movies, and more substantial parts in the films Cabin in the Sky and Stormy Weather. Due to the Red Scare and her left-leaning political views, Horne found herself blacklisted and unable to get work in Hollywood. Returning to her roots as a nightclub performer, Horne took part in the March on Washington in August 1963, and continued to work as a performer, both in nightclubs and on television, while releasing well-received record albums. She announced her retirement in March 1980, but the next year starred in a one-woman show, Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music, which ran for more than three hundred performances on Broadway and earned her numerous awards and accolades. She continued recording and performing sporadically into the 1990s, disappearing from the public eye in 2000.
Ms. Horne sadly passed away May 9th 2010. As visible from the pictures above, she was a testament of how well we age; continuing to remain active, relevant, and socially and politically influential well into her older years.She was certainly an inspiration who helped breakdown early barriers regarding 'Beauty' and 'Blackness' in Hollywood and thus American culture and society. For this and more WE SALUTE YOU!