The Legendary Miss Lena Horne


Lena Horne was born talented and beautiful to a father who wanted to be a gambling kingpin and a mother who jumped from one vaudeville theater to another chasing her dream of being an actress.  It was a childhood on the road.

Lena grew up in a time of no Civil Rights for African Americans in the U.S. and she fought to build a career in an environment that applauded her on stage and refused to serve her coffee in restaurants or let her sleep in the local hotels.

She fought to get good movie roles and refused the stereotypes of maids and mammies. During World War II Lena chose to pay her own way to perform for servicemen when she saw American black soldiers being seated behind wounded Germans at her show.

Inspiring and powerful, Lena Horne was a pioneer who refused to be second class.  This is the story of her strength.

48 pages   978-1481468244    Ages 6-10

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,


"Celebrate the life of Lena Horne, the pioneering African American actress and civil rights activist, with this inspiring and powerful picture book from award-winning author Carole Boston Weatherford.

You have to be taught to be second class; you’re not born that way. 

Lena Horne was born into the freedom struggle, to a family of teachers and activists. Her mother dreamed of being an actress, so Lena followed in her footsteps as she chased small parts in vaudeville, living out of a suitcase until MGM offered Lena something more—the first ever studio contract for a black actress.

But the roles she was considered for were maids and mammies, stereotypes that Lena refused to play. Still, she never gave up. “Stormy Weather” became her theme song, and when she sang “This Little Light of Mine” at a civil rights rally, she found not only her voice, but her calling."--from the publisher

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