[Editor’s Note: The following post is part of American Masters’ #InspiringWomanPBS campaign, which highlights the powerful, creative, and innovative women in our lives. Visit the Inspiring Woman page to join the campaign and submit the story of a woman who inspires you.]
American singer, dancer, actress and civil rights activist Lena Horne discusses the difficulties of navigating the 1940s and 1950s Hollywood studio system and her involvement in the civil rights movement. As a trailblazing person of color within the entertainment industry, Horne recollects times spent with Count Basie, Medgar Evers, Billy Strayhorn and others [Lena Horne: In Her Own Voice (1996)].
Lena Horne shares her disappointment in the lack of progress made toward racial equality throughout her lifetime, however she expresses hope for the generations that follow her. Horne was interviewed on August 29, 1996 for Lena Horne: In Her Own Voice (1996).