Lena Horne (b. 1917)
@ New Georgia Encyclopedia
DescriptionEncyclopedia article about Lena Horne, singer and civil rights advocate, who has received several honors commemorating her contributions to the performing arts. Horne began her career in show business as a dancer at Harlem's famed Cotton Club; she later debuted with Noble Sissle's band and toured with Charlie Barnet's band, becoming the first African American to tour with an all-white band. She worked on Broadway and in 1943 became the first black performer to be awarded a contract with a major film studio when she signed with MGM. Horne refused to play roles traditionally given to black women like maids or nannies. In the early 1950s she and many other politically active performers were blacklisted as suspected Communists. She was also active with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for the aggregation and enhancement of partner metadata.