From the Archive #2: Miss Lena Horne (1917-2010) Takes on Radio

In a Chicago Defender interview from the late 1940s, badass even then:

“‘Almost every day, I hear someone on the radio hailing America as the home of democracy. Yet almost every network is guilty of discrimination against the Negro performer. There are a few isolated cases of Negroes in broadcasting, but the lily-white policy is seldom violated. When I was on the Ed (Gardner) show, the script had to be revised so that I wouldn’t address the star as “Archie.” They wanted me to call him “Mr. Gardner.” It wasn’t considered proper for a Negro girl to speak a white man’s name.

‘But I refused to consent to the change. So the earth-shattering problem was finally solved by deleting the name from the script. It is encouraging to know that Actor’s Equity is fighting against racial discrimination in the theatre. I hope there will also be a crusade of this type in radio in the near future.'”


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