The 33 Best Lena Horne Quotes

Lena Horne Quotes

Lena Horne was one of the most popular movie and music stars of the 1940’s. She was born as Lena Mary Calhoun Horne in Brooklyn, New York on June 30, 1917. Lena was a star across many different areas of life –  a jazz and pop singer, an actress, a dancer and also a civil rights activist. Her career was over 70 years.

In Hollywood, she starred in over a dozen films and was the first black woman nominated for a Tony Award for her role in the musical Jamaica.

Lena Horne Quotes

  1. Always be smarter than the people who hire you. Lena Horne
  2. You have to be taught to be second class; you’re not born that way. Lena Horne
  3. It’s so nice to get flowers while you can still smell the fragrance. Lena Horne
  4. I’m not alone, I’m free. I no longer have to be a credit, I don’t have to be a symbol to anybody; I don’t have to be a first to anybody. Lena Horne
  5. Malcolm X made me very strong at a time I needed to understand what I was angry about. He had peace in his heart. He exerted a big influence on me. Lena Horne
  6. Don’t be afraid to feel as angry or as loving as you can, because when you feel nothing, it’s just death. Lena Horne
  7. It’s so nice to get flowers while you can still smell the fragrance. Lena Horne
  8. I’m not alone, I’m free. I no longer have to be a credit, I don’t have to be a symbol to anybody; I don’t have to be a first to anybody. Lena Horne
  9. I don’t have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I’d become. I’m me, and I’m like nobody else. Lena Horne
  10. I made a promise to myself to be kinder to other people. Lena Horne
  11. As much as I try, when I open my mouth, Lena comes out, And I get so mad. Lena Horne
  12. My identity is very clear to me now, I am a black woman. Lena Horne
  13. After I got over the terrible pain of having something of mine taken from me, I began to think how bad everybody else must be feeling. It wasn’t a nice time. Lena Horne
  14. Malcolm X raised my consciousness about myself and my people and other people more than any person I know. I knew him before he became Malcolm X. Lena Horne
  15. I’m still learning, you know. At 80, I feel there is a lot I don’t know. Lena Horne
  16. I told them I belong to the same organizations and clubs Mrs. Roosevelt belongs to, but with a few brave exceptions, I was still unable to do films or television for the next seven years. Lena Horne
  17. I was lucky, as many of my generation was, in having a man like Dr. King in our lives. He came at a time that we needed to take a long look at each other and see how similar we were. Lena Horne
  18. I remember the day tDr. King died. I wasn’t angry at the beginning. It was like something very personal in my life had been touched and finished. Lena Horne
  19. I really do hate to sing. Lena Horne
  20. The naked female body is treated so weirdly in society. It’s like people are constantly begging to see it, but once they do, someone’s a hoe.” Lena Horne
  21. I was unique in that I was a kind of black that white people could accept. I was their daydream. I had the worst kind of acceptance because it was never for how great I was or what I contributed. It was because of the way I looked. Lena Horne
  22. Every color I can think of and nationality, we were all touched by Dr. King because he made us like each other and respect each other. Lena Horne
  23. It’s so nice to get flowers while you can still smell the fragrance. Lena Horne
  24. I want to sing like Aretha Franklin. Before her I wanted the technical ability of Ella Fitzgerald. Lena Horne
  25. In my early days I was a sepia Hedy Lamarr. Now I’m black and a woman, singing my own way. Lena Horne
  26. It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it. Carry it by the comfortable handles of gratitude for what’s positive and that it is not worse, rather than the uncomfortable edges of bitterness for the negatives and that it is not better. Lena Horne
  27. “I’m still learning, you know. At 80, I feel there is a lot I don’t know.”  Lena Horne
  28. “Malcolm X raised my consciousness about myself and my people and other people more than any person I know. I knew him before he became Malcolm X.” Lena Horne
  29. I really do hate to sing.Lena Horne
  30. The best thing about living… Is the chance to keep on doing it!  Lena Horne
  31. After I got over the terrible pain of having something of mine taken from me, I began to think how bad everybody else must be feeling. It wasn’t a nice time.” Lena Horne
  32. I don’t have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I’d become. I’m me, and I’m like nobody else. Lena Horne
  33. Nobody black or white who really believes in democracy can stand aside now; everybody’s got to stand up and be counted. Lena Horne

Video: Lena Horne Sings “The Lady is a Tramp”

This is one of her best and most famous songs from the Disney Movie. Really captures her great voice, singing and her impressive presence on the movie screen.

Summary

Lena Horne was a legend and in her 70 years in the public eye she left quite a legacy. She passed away on May 9th, 2010 at the age of 92.

 

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