“This moment is so much bigger than me. This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll….And it’s for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.” – Halle Barry’s Oscar Acceptance Speech 2002
Words are not coming to me easily this morning trying to pay tribute to the incomparable Lena Horne, who passed away yesterday at the age of 92. So I’m just going to get out of the way and let her speak and sing.
“I was unique in that I was a kind of black that white people could accept,” she once said. “I was their daydream. I had the worst kind of acceptance because it was never for how great I was or what I contributed. It was because of the way I looked.”
“I was always battling the system to try to get to be with my people. Finally, I wouldn’t work for places that kept us out. … It was a damn fight everywhere I was, every place I worked, in New York, in Hollywood, all over the world.”
“I don’t have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I’d become,” Horne once said. “I’m me, and I’m like nobody else.”
“I looked out and saw a family of brothers and sisters,” she said. “It was a long time, but when it came I truly began to live.”
What a life! Stormy weather and sunny anyway.