Legendary jazz singer/actress Lena Horne died Sunday evening at the age of 92.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, June 30, 1917, Lena Mary Calhoun Horne, was the great-granddaughter of a freed slave. She was raised in a leading family in the black bourgeoisie.
Her daughter, Gail Lumet Buckley, wrote in her 1986 book “The Hornes: An American Family” that among their relatives was a college girlfriend of W.E.B. Du Bois and a black adviser to Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Dropping out of school at 16 to support her ailing mother, Horne joined the chorus line at the Cotton Club, the fabled Harlem night spot where the entertainers were black and the clientele white.
Soon, a movie offer from MGM came after she headlined a show at the Little Troc nightclub with the Katherine Dunham dancers in 1942. Continue Reading…