Lena Horne was the first African American Actress to have a contract with a major Hollywood studio with a clause stipulating she did not have to play any demeaning or stereotypical roles according to this blog I linked to and also was a favored and loved presence at The Apollo Theatre.
Below a quote from The New York Post Editorial section from Quincy Jones, May 11, 2010.
"Lena Horne was a pioneering groundbreaker, making inroads into a world that had never before been explored by African-American women, and she did it on her own terms. Our nation and the world has lost one of the great artistic icons of the 20th century."
— Composer/arranger Quincy Jones on the death Sunday of the legendary singer and actress at the age of 92
She was a ground breaker and a fighter for Civil Rights and she contributed and helped pave the way for other thanks to her activism and courage. She died at 92 years old here in NYC New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and she had her family with her.
I remember Liz Smith was a big admirer of Lena Horne and I was invited to a function dedicated to her. Her daughter came in her place if memory serves me right.
Lena Horne was very humble and down played her talents but she truly was a compelling performer, a great beauty, a loved Mother and an activist that made a difference and will be missed.
She was born here 92 years old and she passed away her in NYC...full circle fully loved...
I think of Alicia Keys singing "Empire State of Mind" so beautifully and I think of Lena Horne now eternally beautiful; her great contributions remain with us in spirit. Thank you and Bless you Lena Horne.