Lena Horne: Actress And Activist

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Lena Horne Actress and Activist Lena Horne was a star who broke racial barriers. In a suppressive 1900s America, an African American woman was determined to step into the limelight to defy the racial standards of her time. She faced an uphill battle trying to create a career from her childhood, with little support from her own family, let alone a white dominated industry. When she finally proved to be an astonishing performer and struck a deal with a major Hollywood studio, she was still held back by racial segregation laws still in effect in the south. Horne recognized her influence and used her talents to go from actress to activist. Through movie roles and songs the starlette used her voice to make movements for African American civil rights.…show more content…
She had become the first African American performer to sign a contract with a major studio, but she wanted to accomplish more than that. She wanted to be a voice for African Americans who were also trying to receive equality. “When I went to the south and met the kind of people who were fighting in such an unglamorous fashion, I mean, fighting to just get someplace to sit and get a sandwich. I felt close to that kind of thing because I had denied it and had been left away from it so long. And I began to feel such pain again. -Lena Horne” (A Star Who Broke Barriers, 2010). Traveling and her improving status had taken her away from the south, and Horne had forgotten the mistreat of African Americans. She knew she had to do more than just refuse demeaning roles. She began performing at rallies around the country on behalf of the NAACP and the Nation Council for Negro Women. She protested racial separation at the hotels where she performed. In 1963 she took part in the March on Washington and was there to witness Martin Luther King Junior’s “I Have a Dream” speech. She contributed to African American civil rights through these and many other supporting actions that her talents and career allowed her to

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