Lena Horne

Lena Horne c. 1961, Friedman-Abeles, New York, photographer

Birth Name: Lena Mary Calhoun Horne

Date of Birth: June 30, 1917

Place of Birth: Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.

Date of Death: May 9, 2010

Place of Death: Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.

Ethnicity: African-American, some English

Lena Horne was an American singer, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist.

Lena was the daughter of Edna Louise (Scottron) and Edwin Fletcher Horne. Her parents were both black. She also had English ancestry. She is sometimes stated to have had Native American roots. It is not clear if this Native American ancestry has been verified/documented.

Lena was married to musician, composer, conductor, and arranger Lennie Hayton, until his death. She had two children, Edwin and journalist Gail Lumet Buckley, with her former husband, Louis Jordan Jones. She is the grandmother of actress and screenwriter Jenny Lumet, and the great-grandmother of actor and musician Jake Cannavale.

Lena’s paternal grandfather was named Edwin Fletcher Horne, Sr. (the son of Edwin F. Horne and Elizabeth). Lena’s grandfather Edwin was born in Tennessee, New Mexico, or Indiana.

Lena’s paternal grandmother was Cora Catherine Calhoun (the daughter of Moses Calhoun and Atlanta Mary Fernanda/Fernando). Cora was born in Georgia. Moses was the son of Nellie Reynolds. Atlanta was born in Georgia, the daughter of Arkansas Fernanda and Charlotte.

Lena’s maternal grandfather was Cyrus L. Scottron (the son of Samuel Raymond Scottron/Scrotton and Anna Maria Willet). Cyrus was born in Georgia. Samuel was a noted inventor, and was the son of Samuel J. Scottron and Jane M.

Lena’s maternal grandmother was Louise Ashton Logan (the daughter of Joshua Logan and Amelia Louise Ashton). Lena’s grandmother Louise was born in New York.

Sources: http://www.lena-horne.com

Genealogies of Lena Horne – http://www.geni.com

Lena’s father on the 1910 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org
Lena’s father on the 1920 U.S. Census – https://www.familysearch.org

Profile by Fuzzybear


Curious about ethnicity

27 Responses

  1. xoxo says:

    I’m sorry but Lena was ugly to me. She had a bird-like appearance.

  2. Princess says:

    Light, bright, and damn near White.

  3. AllPeople says:

    The ETHNIC group currently that is referred to by the
    media-supported misnomer of ‘African-American’
    (AA) IS NOT the same group as the RACIAL
    group known as ‘Black American’ (BA).
    — AllPeople (AP) G.i.f.t.s.
    soaptalk AT hotmail DOT com
    Founder and Moderator of the following
    online Lineage-Discussion Communities

    • midori29 says:

      @All people. African American and black American are the same. No difference. African American is just another term for black American but both are interchangeable. Both mean Americans of color with significantly overwhelming subsaharan black African dna, heritage, roots. Usually 50 percent or more.

    • midori29 says:

      @All people Lena Horne described herself as black or African American and not mullatto. She didn’t have a white parent. Both her parents were African Americans or black Negros. Same thing. American does not have a mullatto category. America experimented briefly with another category but since ALL 99 percent of African Americans both dark and light have white ancestry a mullatto category would not make sense. Lena Horne was proudly black and she stood up for black right. Are you Dominican or Brazilian????? Because you’re incorrect.

    • midori29 says:

      @All people you can post as many links as you want but technically ALL black Americans and Black Carribeans are multigenerationally mixed from slavery 200 years ago. It’s very uninformed and uneducated of you to think there is a difference solely based upon skin tone. And there are Millions of light skinned blacks without European DNA.

  4. MariGarcia says:

    Ms. Lena Horne was black because at least one of her parents were black. You foreigners need to stay off post using the one drop rule(later law) to defend your dark skin because it simply does not apply if you ACTUALLY look black. Though light skinned and beautiful, Ms. Horne would NEVER pass as a white woman by skin color nor hair texture and so this is not a case of the one drop rule. The one drop rule is for people who look COMPLETELY white but have 1/16 black blood aka 1drop of black blood going back 16 generations on either side. It was meant to stop Negros and Negro Lovers from owning land, getting rights and keeping them opressed. Most hispanics (PR,DR, SA,NA, WI, Caribbean) have at least one black grand/greatgrand parent so let’s cut the ISH. The one drop rule never applied if you were tan, toasted, bronzed or exotic but only Completely white but had a black Ancestor back as far as 16 generations on either side. So all you Blatinos stay off post pointing out your 2 or 3 Spainard features and trying to prove you aren’t black. The very fact that you are trying is proof positive. I should know so don’t get mad at me or Zoe Saldana for telling the truth.

    • Md says:

      I’m confused. Clearly ms. Lena Horne is mixed and part of this website is learning about ALL aspects of a persons ethnicity. That means regardless of the fact that Lena Horne is an African American woman racially… Ethnically she clearly has more than west African ancestors. I know because I have west African friends that look NoThIng like her. They are the true definition of black. The one drop rule is a made up classification system used in USA to keep a many people of African descent in the “black” category. It was not a law for people thr looked white- you make no sense. That means you could be blonde, blue eye or whatever, but if you had 1 ancestor that was black then that’s what you were classified as. This was a way to originally keep the slave population well stocked. In Latin America and the Caribbean people mixed just the same like jn America, there was definitely a racial caste system HOWEVER they acknowledged mix people as being mixed and they had specific terms for them. This allowed for people to be recognized as what they truly are. This never happened in America. So one person in brazil would be recognized as a mulatto and can claim true multiracial heritage yet if that same person were in America they would be called black. I think it’s rude to not allow people to claim their heritage and it’s rude to categorize people based on YOUR beliefs even though they ate not you.

      • Anya says:

        I actually just finished reading a Lens Horne biography recently…and I also read a book by her daughter Gail Lumet (may be wrong spelling) about the Horne family. Lena’s grandfather was actually half white half NA. He had no AA at all but chose to identify as AA. A very interesting family.

        • Anya says:

          Specifically; Lena was 5/16 White, 5/16 Black and 6/16 NA…so roughly a third each of black, white and NA.

          • Anya says:

            I meant to add; Her Dad was 1/2 White, 1/4 NA and 1/4 Black (one of his parents was 1/2 NA 1/2 White and the other 1/2 Black 1/2 White). Her Mom was 1/2 NA and 1/2 Afro-Portuguese. Very special mix.

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