Lena Horne

Abstract Lena Horne an honorary lady of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated was a great artist in the Harlem Renaissance era. Lena abilities to sing and act paved a way for many African Americans. Due to her skin complexion, she receives roles that other African American women couldn’t get. She was the first black female to receive a very long contract with MGM. Her impact encourages many great women singers today because she broke the color barrier in music. I think if it wasn’t for Lena Horne, we wouldn’t have as many women singers and rappers in the music world today. ?

Lena Horne was boring on June 30, 1917 in Brooklyn, New York. Lena parents divorced while she was a toddler. Her mom left and went to find work as an actress. She was left in care with her grandparents until the age of seven. Lena mom returned for her and they began to travel around. Lena attended many schools while on the move. At the age of 14, Lena quit school and at the age 16 she got her first stage job dancing and later singing at the famed Cotton Club in Harlem. While working performing at the club, she was met Duke Ellington and Cab Callaway who took very great care of her.

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Her talent got her to play in front of packed houses. If she wouldn’t do well in the movie industry, her singing and dancing would have succeeded in the entertainment industry. Lena appearance in Broadway, bought Hollywood to her. At age 21 she appeared in her first film The Dukes is Tops. Four years later she appeared in another film Panama Hattie as a singer in a nightclub. She was signed with MGM but their film was cut in the south because anything portraying blacks was not allowed. MGM was afraid because she her photographs was lighted so she didn’t appear as the black woman she were.

So they hired a make-up artist who created something called Black Egyptian. This make-up made her skin to appear darker. In 1943, MGM loaned her to 20th-Century-Fox play the role of Selina Rogers in the all-black musical Stormy Weather. The title of the song became a major hit list on the music charts. Even though she was at her peat with music, Lena was still denied rooms at various hotels due to racism. Lena then left film for a while to concentrate on music and stage performances. She returned in the black musical play The Wiz. The Wiz was the last big appearance by Lena Horne.