Lena Horne (In Memorial) R.I.P.6/30/1917-5/9/2010 Poem by Luke Easter

Lena Horne (In Memorial) R.I.P.6/30/1917-5/9/2010

I was stunned to be online to see American Idol and not Lena Horne,
In highlighted captions as she was a star before these punks were born.
In the early part of her career she always came through the back door,
Singing in WWII, Black soldiers sat behind German prisoners of war.

Hitler’s German Army that killed U.S. Soldiers in numerous attacks,
Oh, were given V.I.P. seating over Americans whose skin was black,
Ok, she walked off stage and what the USO did threw her for a loop,
Fired her, so she used her own money to travel & sing for the troops.

I cannot imagine a class act like that being treated with bigoted flack,
“Star of the Show” people paid to see being told, “come in the back, ”
And only the Caucasian walked in the front to see her first class act,
The first African American ever to sign a long term movie contract,

With the deal she was only used as, “window dressing” on the screen,
Limited to singing that was edited in the South, know what I mean?
All in the business has a signature song hers was, “Stormy Weather, ”
Hundreds have sung this movie title and not one has done it better.

Horne refused to go along with studio exec’s, “Latin American Star, ”
Knowing when audiences realized she was, “Negro” she’d not go far,
But she carried something that Sammy, Nat, Duke and Satchmo had,
It was a show quality people never saw before and man was it, “Bad! ”

Lena was just, “Sweet 16” when she decided a make the jump to go,
Dancing in “The Cotton Club” after being discovered at the Apollo,
Soon becoming a singing sensation & the rest is history as they say,
Playing for packed white patrons with band leader Cab Calloway.

Her stepfather made a deal that she’d never be a Tarzan extra or maid,
Then after she realized, “I would only go so far, I went on the stage, '
Ms. Horne became involved in civil rights after receiving a racial slur,
1960 in Beverly Hills figuring, it can happen to anyone if it did to her.

Tony’s,2 Grammy’s and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award,
Life on the road, movies, musicals, stage plays, she was never bored,
Interviewed she did admit in the beginning she was lonely for a while,
But always in the public eye there she was with that Lena Horne smile.

Books it would take to describe, racial injustice suffered in the past,
However, she is safe at home now as no injustice will forever last,
So many successful years in the entertainment industry, do not mourn,
St. Peter told angels this is how it’s done, “Introducing Lena Horne.”

Luke Easter

Luke Easter

Cleveland, Ohio
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