"Horne was denied roles with any artistic range whatsoever. Too proud to just take anything, Horne resigned herself to a career as a musical entertainer so those who followed her might have more choices. She pushed open a door that Josephine Baker, as the first African American to star in a major motion picture, had just unlocked.
We think of Horne of as a phenomenal singer and dancer who put a dignified face on black beauty that was rare at the time, but who knows what else she had to offer. Tempting, titillating but never tawdry, she proved you could be a diva with less skin and more sass, a concept that seems to elude a new generation."
Here she is on the Rosie O'Donnell show in 1998. I love how modest she is (and the number of bangles she's wearing):
Rest in peace, Lena Horne. A true diva, beauty, performer, and trailblazer.