Lena Horne, the esteemed jazz vocalist and civil rights pioneer who died earlier this week at the age of 92, was honored by a resolution passed bu the U.S. Senate this afternoon (May 14), just as Horne’s friends and admirers paid her tribute at a New York memorial service.
The resolution, introduced by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and passed unanimously by the entire Senate, recognized Horne’s lifelong efforts as an actress, singer and civil rights activist. Introducing the measure, Senator Gillibrand said, “Lena Horne’s legendary voice and her lifelong dedication to fighting inequality will continue to inspire future generations of Americans. While we join together to mourn the loss of an American treasure and icon, we also celebrate Lena Horne’s incredible life and legacy. I offer my condolences to her family and friends.”
The bipartisan resolution was co-sponsored by: Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Roland Burris (D-IL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Robert Casey (D-PA), Carl Levin (D-MI), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Charles Schumer (D-NY).
Representatives John Conyers (D-MI) and Yvette Clarke (D-NY) will be submitting a similar resolution in the United States House of Representatives in the coming days.
In New York, Horne was remembered at her funeral on Friday as a shy girl from Brooklyn who fought racism for decades to emerge as a world-class singer and social activist.
“She was so many ideas existing all at the same time in the same space and they were all conflicting and they were all true,” her granddaughter, Jenny Lumet, told hundreds of mourners at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in Manhattan.
“I’ve tried to sum her up and I can’t sum her up,” said Lumet, daughter of the late director Sidney Lumet.
“To sum something up means it’s over – and I think that she’s not over and that she’s quite infinite.”
(Additional reporting by Associated Press)