日期:2018-09-13 15:40





I'm Barbara Klein. And I'm Steve Ember with PEOPLE IN AMERICA in VOA Special English. Today we remember the singer and actress Lena Horne. She helped break racial barriers by changing the way black women were represented in film. During her sixty-year career performing, Lena Horne electrified audiences with her beauty and rich, emotional voice. She used her fame to fight social injustices toward African-Americans. That was Lena Horne singing her most famous song, "Stormy Weather." She sang this song in a nineteen forty-three musical movie of the same name. In the nineteen forties, Lena Horne was the first African-American in Hollywood to sign a long-term contract with a major movie studio. Her deal with MGM stated that she would never play the role of a servant. During this period, African-American actors were mostly limited to playing servants or African natives. Lena Horne refused to play roles that represented African-Americans disrespectfully.


But this refusal also limited her movie career. Horne was generally only offered the role of a nightclub singer. Her characters did not interact with white characters in these movies. This way, her part could be cut from the version of the movie that played in the American South. During this time, racial separation laws were in effect in the South. Lena Horne later wrote that the movie producers did not make her into a servant, but they did not make her into anything else either. She said she became a butterfly pinned down and singing away in Movieland. Lena Horne once said that World War Two helped make her a star. She was popular with both black and white servicemen. She sang on army radio programs and traveled to perform for the troops. During one event, she noted that German prisoners of war were permitted to sit closer to the stage than black soldiers. She criticized the way black soldiers were treated by the army. These experiences led to Lena Horne's work in the civil rights movement. "When I went to the South and met the kind of people who were fighting in such an unglamorous fashion, I mean, fighting to just get someplace to sit and get a sandwich. I felt close to that kind of thing because I had denied it and had been left away from it so long. And I began to feel such pain again."


Lena Mary Calhoun Horne was born in Brooklyn, New York in nineteen seventeen. Her mother, an actress, was away for much of Lena's childhood. Lena's grandmother helped raise her. Her grandmother was a social worker and women's rights activist. At the age of sixteen, Lena found work as a dancer at the famous Cotton Club in New York City. After taking voice lessons, she soon began performing there as a singer. At the age of nineteen, Lena Horne moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and married Louis Jones. Her marriage did not last long. But she had two children, Gail and Edwin. In nineteen forty, Lena Horne became the first African-American to travel and perform with an all-white jazz band. She also made records and performed at New York City's Café Society jazz club. This was the first nightclub in the United States without racial separation. Many jazz clubs during this period had black performers. But few allowed black people to watch the shows in the audience.




Lena Horne became very popular. After performing at a club in Hollywood, California, she caught the attention of filmmakers. She soon began making movies. Lena Horne said that she was able to make movies because she was the kind of black person that white people could accept. But she said this was the worst kind of acceptance. It was for the way she looked, not for how good she was or how hard she worked. In nineteen forty-seven, Lena Horne married Lennie Hayton. He was a music writer for the MGM movie studio and was white. The couple married secretly in Paris, France. They did so because it was illegal at the time for people of different races to marry in the United States. They did not announce their marriage for three years. Lena Horne later said that she first became involved with Lennie Hayton because she thought he could be useful to her career. He could help get her into places that a black manager could not. But she says she began to love him because he was a nice man. Lena Horne's movie career slowed down in the nineteen fifties. But she continued recording and performing live and on television. Her nineteen fifty-seven album, "Lena Horne at the Waldorf Astoria," became a best-seller.


She also became increasingly involved in civil rights activities. She protested racial separation at the hotels where she performed. She took action so that she and her musicians would be permitted to stay in those hotels. Black musicians at the time generally stayed in black neighborhoods. Lena Horne also sang at civil rights gatherings. She took part in the March on Washington protest in nineteen sixty-three. It was during this event that Martin Luther King Junior gave his "I Have a Dream" speech. Lena Horne performed in a strong and expressive way. One expert said she was not warm and friendly like white, male singers at the time. Instead, she was a fierce, black woman.


Lena Horne once said she felt a need to act distant on stage to protect herself. She said when white audiences saw her, they were busy seeing their own idea of a black woman. She chose to show them a woman whom they could not reach. She said: "They get the singer, but they are not going to get the woman."


Lena Horne continued making records throughout the nineteen sixties, seventies and eighties. In nineteen eighty-one she returned to Broadway in New York with the show "Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music." The show ran for over a year, before traveling around the United States and Europe. It earned her a Tony Award and two Grammy Awards. Lena Horne died in two thousand ten at the age of ninety-two. At the age of eighty, she said this about her career: "My identity is very clear to me now. I am a black woman. I'm free." She said she no longer had to be a "first" to anybody. She said she did not have to act like a white woman that Hollywood hoped she would become. She said: "I'm me, and I'm like nobody else."




1.fame 名声;名望


He owed his fame to good fortune.


2.limit 限制


The amount of money you have to spend will limit your choice.


3.disrespectfully 无礼地;不恭地


It jumped up and down disrespectfully, mocking the hunting soldiers. It threw a nut at them.


4.interact 互动;沟通


Teachers have a limited amount of time to interact with each child.


5.pin down 使受约束


He was sure he would pin down the enemy between two firing lines.


6.protest 抗议


They were protesting soaring prices.


我是芭芭拉·克莱恩tKj=v@Mf&L~lk。我是史蒂夫·恩贝尔kN;Cd2!KwLA~e。这里是VOA慢速英语栏目《美国人物志》|hEmn58jTs-6xvr*Zw)u。今天让我们共同怀念歌手兼演员莲纳·荷恩rt!bD|5NZGwl。她改变了黑人女性在银幕上的形象从而打破了这种种族障碍zzq10sEpe1M,O;。在她60年的职业演绎中,莲纳·荷恩用她的美丽以及富有情感的声音震惊观众].S]Q-v5q+Ptc%kSW。她利用自己的名望与非裔美国人所受到的不公正斗争10!B8WmZ-&pblD47tv。这是莲纳·荷恩演唱她最著名的歌曲《Stormy Weather》3NJn2zKWaK。在1943年同名音乐剧中,她演唱了这首歌E!N5xoaF.Og。上世纪40年代,莲纳·荷恩是好莱坞首位和大型电影公司签订长期合作协议的非裔美国人]BnRl9#2.(6-U。她和MGM的协议中写到,她绝不会扮演佣人的角色3*%Jr_icksJ)8px。在那个时期,非裔美国演员绝大部分都只能演佣人或非洲原住民的角色Je;fD0aKU[xSs。莲纳·荷恩拒绝扮演那些不尊重非裔美国人的角色55tNGfDHMdt=LxD*J@。但是这也限制了她的电影事业8x|h4uHd(;V。荷恩通常只能接到夜店歌手的角色|16!1Ff#%wR!PAfVbVU。她的角色和电影中白人角色并无接触SYyY[_I~J.k5Otq。因此,那些在美国南部上映的电影版本中,她的角色可以被剪掉2cX2*O+X]%。那段时期,种族隔离法律在南方生效8Cg8Rkbmkv!XyzC。之后莲纳·荷恩写到,电影制片人没有让她扮演佣人,但是也没给他其他有意义的角色bf7gqwC1!.u*(9,!(。她说她成了电影界被压抑住的蝴蝶,只能以歌声消除哀愁NN_.Cj%IeVET2l




上世纪50年代,莲纳·荷恩的电影事业放慢了脚步hlA(v|9%GGYsx*p。但是她继续录唱片并在电视上露面M](Xfmc[,c。她1957年的专辑《Lena Horne at the Waldorf Astoria》成为了畅销唱片*@k3HUhdPgDJoS[y。她还不断参与民权活动j2md%RhL#f。她在自己演出的酒店中抗议种族隔离QVMYb+JEL-B。她这么做才让自己和她的乐队得以待在那些酒店中+w.@k1#b!22#B=。那时黑人音乐家通常只能待在黑人社区~=F6O%ylC|-29。莲纳·荷恩还在民权集会上演唱,1963年,她参加了进军华盛顿游行抗议S.kG-%81^R+。正是在此次活动上小马丁·路德·金发表了他的演讲《我有一个梦想》vdep6=RV*C00l9ha。莲纳·荷恩以一种强烈且赋予表现力的方式演出Z(Go_*z=!gS5]T6。一名专家说她并不像那时的白人男歌手一样温暖友好q8__N[5IHI5。但她是一位激烈黑人女性5v!Mtb![nb1Xlhan.k=g。莲纳·荷恩曾说她觉得有必要表现出距离感才能保护自己Qg*xxzC(i[;aipc.~Ya。她说当白人观众看到她时,他们是以自己固有的看待黑人女性的眼光看待她3^YeT4~CtkYV。她选择扮演一个他们无法触及的女性-+D4NQR]Tsq=y。她说:“他们能得到我作为歌手的一面,却无法得到我作为女性的一面s-4v+n!K;G(x&R。”

上世纪60、70以及80年代,莲纳·荷恩继续录制唱片,o6O%1IKkOUl^。1981年,她带着舞台剧《Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music》重返纽约百老汇Q6UOl0VHP2;M7%~UT。在巡回美国和欧洲之前,这个剧已经演了一年多uOeJ]fIQP;bm@soFGJ。这部剧为她获得了一座托尼奖以及两座格莱美奖aYmP1[J9+4N[HDet^c。2010年,莲纳·荷恩去世,年92岁OxmEh0ou^lHz。80岁时,她这样说起自己的事业:“对我而言,我现在的身份非常清楚5^w%Cu]Z;bhQW42!olA。我是一个黑人女性Y&Dk=4+5dJ5x。我是自由的;fMwReKHKfg@|V=NH。”她说她不再是谁的‘第一’V@a~2~weTn。她说她不必扮演好莱坞希望她成为的那种白人女性~OD#=o80DH|GhYDm。她说“我就是我,不像其他任何人%f=Ds|8UVmsss。”