Opinion

May 11, 2010

Commentary: In appreciation of Lena Horne

Lena Horne was one of the last links to an era fading slowly from living memory. A singer and actress of cafe au lait skin, lively eyes and an irrepressible smile, she came to fame in the 1940s and, wittingly or not, became a de facto symbol, a stand in representing millions of other African Americans shut out of the mainstream by custom and by law. She bore all their hopes and aspirations. It was unfair; it was ridiculous. It was the way things were. Lena Horne, who died Sunday at 92, had to represent. And she did — spectacularly.

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