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Lena Horne – June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010 -+

by Richard Sudan

OBV today pays tribute to the life of actor and activist Lerna Horne who died aged 92.

Horne who throughout her life challenged many of the racial barriers her generation faced was one of Hollywood’s first black faces and sex symbols.

While later in her career Horne became an avid civil rights campaigner, in the early years of her career she enjoyed fame and stardom as one of the first black leading singers in an all white band.

Starring in Cabin in the sky, and well known for her performance in Stormy Weather Horne was a household name by the Sixties.

Marching with Dr King, and often speaking at rallies using her fame to raise the profile of racism, Horne was as much an activist as she was a singer. Indeed the challenges and barriers she faced in her own career were akin to the struggles of the time.

Horne herself was once quoted as saying “I was unique in that I was a kind of black that white people could accept,” “I was their daydream. I had the worst kind of acceptance because it was never for how great I was or what I contributed. It was because of the way I looked.”

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