US #5259 – Lena Horne
2018 50c Black Heritage Series
Value: 50¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate- Forever
Issued: January 30, 2018
First Day City: New York, NY
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 35,000,000 stamps
Lena Horne (1917-2010) was one of the great icons of the 20th century. She spent over 70 years in the entertainment industry as an actress and jazz singer and was also an acclaimed civil rights activist. In 2018, the United States Postal Service honored Horne on the forty-first stamp of the Black Heritage Series.
Some of Lena Horne’s first performances were as a 16-year-old chorus liner at the Cotton Club in New York City. After that, her singing and acting career began to grow. Horne was cast in several smaller movies before signing a contract with MGM in 1942. She made her debut in the film Panama Hattie, where she became famous for the song “Stormy Weather.”
As an African American woman, Horne faced discrimination throughout her career, but refused to accept roles that portrayed African Americans in a demeaning way. She joined the civil rights movement in the 1960s and participated in the 1963 March on Washington. Horne’s political activism landed her on Hollywood’s blacklist. Refusing to quit, she refocused her career on music, eventually becoming a legendary jazz singer.
The world was inspired by Lena Horne’s one-of-a-kind talent and unwavering spirit. She helped break down racial barriers in Hollywood and paved the way for African American actors and actresses of today.