There are very few living ties to the older era of black entertainment-a time when our people struggled for respect and equal pay instead of getting locked up every three days and degrading ourselves with lyrical filth. We just lost one of those ties with the passing of Miss Lena Horne at the age of 92.
She was an actress, a singer and an activist, boldly jeopardizing the advancement of her career in order to bring attention to the political issues of the day. In her later years, although her public appearances were few, she remained the epitome of class, a throwback to a different era in pop culture.
What a lady! Brassy yet classy and true proof of the old adage that “Good black don’t crack”-Lena opened the door for many of today’s performers. Would there be a Beyonce without a Lena Horne? Hopefully, everyone takes a second to pay tribute.
My first memory of Lena Horne comes from one of my favorite movies as a kid-“The Wiz”. I couldn’t find the actual performance of “Believe in Yourself from the film”, but you don’t need to watch a thing-just listen to how she sings and you’ll understand what a force of nature this woman was.
Finally, how bizarre is it that Diana Ross is now the only living primary cast member from 1978’s “The Wiz”? Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor, Mabel King and now Miss Horne have all passed.
R.I.P. Lena Horne. You will never be forgotten.