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Stormy Weather for Lena Horne

New America Now, Audio, Sandip Roy Posted: May 11, 2010

Editor's Note: After Lena Horne died on May 9, President Obama remembered the "progress she forged for our country." When Halle Berry became the first African American woman to win the Oscar for Best Actress, she thanked Lena Horne for helping pave the way. At a time when "mammies" and maids were the only roles available for black women in Hollywood, Lena Horne was the epitome of style and glamour. She was impossibly beautiful and gorgeously gowned. But as James Gavin recounts in his biography of Lena Horne, she constantly reinvented herself. From a Cotton Club chorus girl to a civil rights activist, to the good witch Glinda in The Wiz, to starring in a Gap commercial, Lena Horne transformed herself into an American cultural icon. James Gavin recounts the amazing up-and-down story in Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne.

James Gavin spoke with Sandip Roy in 2009. Stormy Weather just came out in paperback.

Click on the links below for more information.


Related Links

Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne

James Gavin Official Website

New America Now: Stormy Weather, I Got Thunder, Paula West

New America Now is now available as a podcast through KALW and National Public Radio, so you can listen to the show on your MP3 player. Click here to subscribe.

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