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Lawtonians help to unveil Horne stamp

A new Black Heritage postal stamp in honor of performer and civil rights activist Lena Horne was unveiled during a ceremony Friday at Lawton's downtown post office.

The newest stamp, the 41st in the Black Heritage series which began in 1978, honors the achievements of Horne (1917-2010). She served as a trailblazer for women of color and used her personal elegance, charisma and fame to become an important spokesperson for civil rights. She began her career at the Cotton Club in Harlem, N.Y., and later moved to the West Coast where she signed a long-term Hollywood contract with MGM. She starred in numerous movies including "Cabin in the Sky" and "Stormy Weather." Horne received a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Musical for her 1981 solo show, "Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music."

Horne made her Broadway debut in 1934 in "Dance With Your Gods," and also appeared in "Lew Leslie's Blackbirds of 1939," "Jamaica," and "Tony & Lena Sing" alongside Tony Bennett. She earned a Kennedy Center honor in 1984 and her name marks the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

As an activist, Horne entertained at camps for black military men during World War II and advocated for Japanese Americans against discriminatory housing after the war. She worked with Eleanor Roosevelt to pass anti-lynching legislation, performed at civil rights rallies throughout the 1960s and walked in the 1963 March on Washington.

The Lawton Constitution

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