The grande dame of elegance, style, and grace would have been 100 years ago today. Goosepimply All Over celebrates Lena Horne’s birthday with much love and admiration!
Known and loved for her voice, beauty, and style on stage and film, Ms. Horne was also revered for her passionate efforts in the Civil Rights Movement. Shamefully, black U.S. soldiers continued to encounter segregation on foreign soil during World War II. Disgusted by the decision of the U.S. Army to have white German P.O.W. soldiers seated in front of the black soldiers during a USO performance, Ms. Horne walked off stage to the first row of black soldiers and sang. The German P.O.W. soldiers were at her back!
Ms. Horne, with many other Hollywood celebrities, participated in the March on Washington in 1963. In 1983, the NAACP awarded her with the Spingarn Medal, recognizing her outstanding achievements. One of my favorite pictures from the March on Washington is of her in front of the Lincoln Memorial with Lieutenant Josephine Baker of the French Free Air Force. Yes, that Josephine Baker!
Ms. Horne’s comedy was sharp, too. One of my earliest personal memories was her guest spot on Sanford and Son. Ooh, how Fred made her hot under the collar with his “lyin’ and connivin’!” as she said! Of course, my grandparents let me know who this beautiful, stylish woman giving Fred his latest heart attack was. (Lamont had one in this episode too!)
Here’s to my Happy Birthday love to Ms. Horne! Thanks for everything! Oh, yes, she’s always been my avi for this blog and my tumblr… and what an honor it is. 🙂