As a child my grandmother exposed me to several classic Hollywood musicals…Carmen Jones, The Sound of Music, The Wiz, but I will never forget the first musical she introduced me to…Stormy Weather. I can still remember my six-year old self, sitting in my grandmother’s living room, turning on the VCR, and watching Lena Horne sing her first song from the film “There’s no two ways about love,” and mimicking her every movement. A lot has changed in fifteen years; a DVD copy now replaces my well-worn VHS of Stormy Weather and now I can carry Lena’s music around with me everyday on my iPod.
As an African American, I know that us as a race, don’t have strong ties to the family history that precedes us. So many of us have no tangible recollection of the family and history, yet it’s the movies, music, and literature of those who inspire us that links us to our past. Lena Horne has been that link for me an and her story is one that has motivated me to become the person I am today.
It brings me such sorrow to know that Lena as a person will no longer be with us… yet her music, films and legacy will live on forever. I hope that I can continue down the road that she paved and influence someone the way she has influenced me. She told me “Believe in yourself” and that has been on of the greatest gifts, anyone could give.
Lena will forever live on as The note that carries a beautiful cord.