Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was born June 30, 1017 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. She recently passed away on May 9, 2010. She was a singer, actress, dancer, and civil rights activist. Ms. Horne is probably best known for her role in the 1943 Stormy Weather, considered to be a time capsule showcasing some of the top African-American performers of the time, during an era when black actors and singers rarely appeared in lead roles in mainstream Hollywood productions.
In a time when standing up for Civil Rights was virtually unheard of, Lena Horne was a vocal opponent of racism, during World War II while on tour to support the U.S. Troops she was entertaining, she and refused to sing for segregated audiences where the black troops were seated behind German POWs. She was later blacklisted in 1950 for a number of years. Many say the birth of the civil rights movement was in the late 1950’s, but it really began when people like Lena Horne who stood up for what was right long before anyone was really paying attention. In honor of Lena Horne, and Civil Rights, I give you Shop Local: Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Appropriate for this post, Anda Corry is a textile designer, calls this print “Birds March”. Anda designs and prints all of her own pieces in her Brooklyn Studio. She has several shops, but Booster Seat (http://www.etsy.com/shop/boosterseat) and http://anda.etsy.com
are her main ones.
The name of this piece from House of Renee is “Walk Along the Serengeti.” It is composed of African trade beads, batik bones, chunky Ethiopian glass rondelles, brass cubes and rondelles, Tibetan cracked agate rondelles, Tibetan Dzi beads, red coral barrels, turquoise discs and rounds and agate Dzi beads. I love how the grosgrain ribbon elevates the look.
EvieTees is a super-fan of the Harry Potter series. In case you missed it, a central theme is the idea of the Half-Bloods, or the half magic, half muggle (human) and the bias against them from a certain population in the world of Harry Potter. A modern message not unlike that of Lena Horne and many, many others—that acceptance of our differences is the true path to living in a magical world.