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Lena Horne passes away…

Singer Lena Horne  in 1995.  (File Associated Press)
Singer Lena Horne in 1995. (File Associated Press)

Good morning, Netizens...

She was, in life, one of the truly great singers, who brought America from outright racism to acceptance of Black performers. Lena Horne passed away yesterday in New York, and the chasm she leaves in her wake may be difficult to fill. I consider it an honor to have heard an early recording of her singing “Stormy Weather” on an old 78-RPM record back when such things were not nearly so commonplace.

History may reflect a lot of things about Lena Horne, but her candor, outspoken honesty and her views on race never set really well with most white folks in the early days of her career.

"My identity is very clear to me now. I am a black woman. I’m free. I no longer have to be a ‘credit.’ I don’t have to be a symbol to anybody; I don’t have to be a first to anybody. I don’t have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I’d become. I’m me, and I’m like nobody else," she was quoted as saying by the New York Times.

That and her legacy, a smoky voice that wrapped itself around my senses, gave me succor in bad times and constantly touched my inner spirit with an undefinable touch is all I have left in her passage. Rest in Peace, Lena.


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Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.