Monday, May 10, 2010

Seasons of a Life: R.I.P Lena Horne

I Love her"Doe Eyes." I Think They Are the Classic Trademark of a Timeless Beauty.

On May 9, 2010, Singer, Actress, Civil Rights Activist, Lena Horne passed away at the age of 92. A few weeks ago, while I was visiting a forum, when I came across a conversation about who, amongst actors would receive the next crown for the most beautiful female or handsome male. I questioned the need for our generation to constantly desire a next great, in place of those who can be considered timeless. Pointing out those timeless people, of course, I mentioned Lena Horne.

Lena Horne will always be known for her beauty. However, her indelible impression on humanity goes far beyond the mirror of her looks, and penetrates the mirror of her soul. What always fascinated me about Horne, and those of her generation, was their readiness to be "race-people" and not just for the social construction of the African American race, but for the Human race. She made it her responsibility to stand up for Civil Rights and her position in that movement is notable.

Like most my connection with Ms. Horne traces back to her appearances on The Cosby Show and A Different World. I was reintroduced to her, when I was in the eighth grade. Every year, at my school's ice cream social, the graduating class would put on a production. For that year, our class was chosen to perform the Broadway version of The Wiz and for reference, we watched the movie. When I heard that Lena Horne passed this evening, I was truly shocked. Her being 92 years of age, did nothing to soften the blow. In fact it made me sad for the future generations.

In the wake of this news, the conversation I had two weeks ago came full circle and like I do after every legend passes, I find myself wondering what legends will I have to pass on to my children. Lena Horne was a star for the generation of my great-grandmother, entrusted to the generation of my grandmother, heralded as an icon for the generation of my parents, and passed down through heritage to me. I am grateful to my exposure of this incredible woman. There will never be another Lena Horne and may she rest in peace.

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