THEATRICAL RELEASE: CHILDREN OF GOD Starting May 20th

May 18, 2011

CELEBRATING 5 YEARS of SUPPORTING & SCREENING FILMS ABOUT THE BLACK LGBTQ EXPERIENCE!

PRESENTSChildrenofGod

The Award-Winning CHILDREN OF GOD Opens at New York City’s 
Quad Cinema on May 20th – Don’t Miss It!!

34 West 13th Street, New York, New York 10011 (Btwn 7th & 8th Ave)

Join Queer Black Cinema 

Saturday, May 21 ( 1PM Times lot)
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

About CHILDREN OF GOD:

Against a backdrop of scare-mongering and hate, the film, directed by Kareem J. Mortimer, introduces Jonny (Johnny Ferro), a creatively-blocked art student struggling with an obsessive-compulsive disorder that sees him cringe away from any human touch; Romeo (Stephen Tyrone Williams) a young man struggling with his obligations towards his family and his band; and the devoutly religious Lena Mackey (Margaret Laurena Kemp) an anti-gay activist whose hypocritical preacher husband has just given her a sexually-transmitted disease. On the Bahamian island of Eleuthera, these three people’s paths collide, with life-changing results.

For More Information: 
Website: http://www.childrenofgodthemovie.com

WIN TICKETS INSTANTLY!

In honor OF QUEER BLACK CINEMA ‘s 5th Anniversary, we are giving away a few tickets!

LIKE the Queer Black Cinema page on facebook to learn how you can win a pair of tickets.

ABOUT QUEER BLACK CINEMA

Queer Black Cinema International Film Festival, created by Angel L. Brown-Ross in 2008 is an Avant-garde film festival that will bring you the best films about the Black LGBT experience from around the world. The three-day festival consists of showcasing the work of both gay and straight award-winning filmmakers of African descent ground-breaking films. The festival also includes industry base panel discussions and workshops, great networking social events and parties, closing with a prestigious Award ceremony, honoring officially selected film makers.

The mission of the festival is to provide a platform for both gay and straight filmmakers of African Descent to present their work about the Black LGBT experience from around the world. We aim to provide solid networking opportunities connecting major resource organizations, major industry professionals with the indie artist. We aim to enlighten, educate and entertain our audience with socially conscious films while providing an open forum for the community both gay and straight to discuss various issues dealing with the Black community and beyond in a safe environment.

QBC Int’l Film Festival is an entity of Queer Black Cinema Institute(formerly QBC Film Series, New York’s first and only Black LGBTQ monthly micro-cinema.) Since the 2006 launch of the film series, the organization has expanded into several projects created by Angel L. Brown-Ross now under the umbrella of Queer Black Cinema Institute: QBC College Film Tour, Just|BE: The Black Gay Erotica 72 hour Poetry & Film Competition on HIV/AIDS prevention/ awareness and Fades Of Black Women Film Showcase; honoring Black Lesbians Women Filmmakers. For more info on the project including volunteering, interning or donating log on to: qbcfilmseries@yahoogroups.com | www.queerblackcinema.org | www.twitter.com/qbcfilmfest  | www.youtube.com/QBCTV | facebook (new)

This project is fiscally operated under  MIX Queer Experimental Film Festival, 501 c3 non-profit organization with financial support from Astraea Lesbian Foundation, Gay Men of African Descent, QBC advance ticket holder audience members and supporters like you!

Marriage Equality: Byron Rushing and the Fight for Fairness

April 25, 2011

Harlem Stage on Screen in partnership with Tribeca Film Institute,  

the Human Rights Campaign and Chimpanzee Productions

presents

Marriage Equality:
Byron Rushing and the Fight for Fairness
A world Premiere film and community Discussion

 

TUESDAY, APRIL 26th 7:30pm   

at Aaron Davis Hall

CLICK HERE TO GET TICKETS ONLINE: $10 or call212-281-9240 ext. 19 or 20

 

 

Harlem Stage brings the national debate about Marriage Equality for same-sex couples to Harlem with the world premiere of award-winning filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris new documentary short, “Marriage Equality: Byron Rushing and the Fight for Fairness.”
About the Film
This pioneering film documents how State Representative Byron Rushing, a straight

LGBT civil rights ally, fought successfully for same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. The film provides an in depth look at the issue of Marriage Equality from the perspective of communities of color.

Following the screening, Washington Post Editorial writer and MSNBC contributor, Jonathan Capehart, will moderate a community dialogue, featuring a distinguishedpanel and YOU, the Harlem Community. Join, Alfonso David, Deputy Secretary of CivilRights for Gov. Cuomo, Rev. Irene Monroe, Cathy Marino-Thomas, Marriage Equality New York, advocate David Wilson and others for the largest discussion of same-sex marriage and people of color in thecountry.

Commissioned by Tribeca Film Institute’s Tribeca All Access program in collaboration with 46664 and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, this pioneering film documents how State Representative Byron Rushing, a straight LGBT Civil Rights ally, fought successfully for Same-Sex Marriage in Massachusetts with the aid of his LGBT people of color constituents.

Queer Black Cinema is a community sponsor.

The Best of QBC Int’l Film Fest 2010 Returns to Brooklyn (Wed.12/15)

December 3, 2010

Selected shorts images from the SHORT CUTS SHOWCASE

New York, NY (INSIDE THE Q! – December 2, 2010) Queer Black Cinema returns to it’s roots screening, “The Best Of  QBC Int’l Film Festival 2010 showcase.”  The screening will take place Wednesday, October 15, 2010 at the South Oxford Space 138 S. Oxford Street Brooklyn, NY.  Selected shorts from the SHORT CUTS SHOWCASE includes: the fastest hit series on the net and award winning series, “Anacostia”,  this year’s winner of The Isaac Julien Experiential Award, “Transcendental” and the hysterical witty short,  “Finding Juliet.” The showcase was  screened this past October at the 3rd Annual QBC International Film Festival is set to highlight the evening along bonus film, “TH3M.” Tickets are $10 online (includes raffle) /$13 at the door. For film description and more information go to www.queerblackcinema.org

Nearly 5 years ago, founder/Producer Angel L. Brown- Ross launched Queer Black Cinema, NY’s Only Black LGBT theme monthly micro cinema (renamed Queer Black Cinema Institute) at the Audre Lorde Center (Brooklyn location.)  The day the series premiered, the room was filled with every LGBT Network from Logo to Q Network and a crowed of anxious audience members eagerly wanted to see the long awaited series begin it’s first showcase. Angel was scared and nervous the series wouldn’t go over so well. “I reached out to many people in the community to help, most didn’t want to get involved so early on but some did and I am thankful for all who took a risked and supported my vision from day one” – Angel L. Brown-Ross. Although the series is not taking place at the Audre Lorde Center, it is taking place at the community supported, South Oxford Space just across from the original venue it started at.

The evening with be filled with complimentary wine in celebration of  a new era for QBC, lot’s of picture taking for a special QBC Anniversary project , socializing and of course films you all will love and enjoy. Advance ticket holders will receive a complimentary raffle ticket. Raffle prizes includes: “Finding Juliet” DVD courtesy of Qwest Films and a QBC Int’l Film Festival Limited Edition Festival bag. Additional raffle tickets will be sold at the event. All funds raised goes toward the QBC 5 Anniversary year long programming. Donations are also accepted at http://www.queerblackcinema.org

 

2010 QBC INT’L FILM FEST ANNOUNCE 3RD ANNUAL FILM FEST HONOREE’S

October 21, 2010

Filmmakers from the SHORT CUTS Showcase@ 2010 QBC Int'l Film Fest

For Immediate Release:

October 21, 2010

press@queerblackcinema.org

http://www.queerblackcinema.org

SKYPE: QueerBlackCinema

HARLEM, NEW YORK- (Inside The Q – October 21, 2010) – Presented by GMAD, Queer Black Cinema International Film Festival (QBCIFF) proudly presented over a dozen films about the Black LGBT experience from around the world.  The three-day festival was held October 15- 17 at the historical Dr. Barabra Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre. The festival wrapped up on October 17 with short, ‘Tracks” directed by Deana Williams and award winning filmmaker, Ryan Richmond, “Money Matters” produced by Sam Pollard featuring Aunjanue Ellis, Terri Abney, and James Whalen. QBC Film Festival is the longest standing Black New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer (LGBTQ) Film festival dedicated to bringing you the best of Black LGBTQ theme films from around the world made by both straight and gay filmmakers of African Descent.

The 3rd Annual QBC Int’l Film Fest announced the awards for best Jury Awards categories along with festival highest honor awards; The Isaac Julien Experiential Award, The Michelle Parkerson Documentary Award, The Marlon Riggs Social Justice Award and the Harlem Renaissance Continuing the Legacy Award. All honorees will be featured in the premiere winter issue of Cinematiq Magazine, a new film magazine highlighting a unique and distinct perspective on Black images in Cinema and beyond.

“This year’s selection of award-winning films represents an eclectic artistic range that pushes the envelope of story telling across the board that addresses key issues in the Black community,” said Angel L. Brown-Ross, Festival Director/Producer. Queer Black Cinema International Film Festival is proud to honor these exceptional filmmakers:

Issac Julian avant-garde Award

Transcendental: The Adventures of Dicky and Clitti, Created by Zen & Shari

 

The Marlon Riggs Social Justice Award

Money Matters, Directed by Ryan Richmond

 

The Michelle Parkerson Doc Award

Realness, Directed by David Barclay Moore.

 

The Harlem Renaissance Continuing the Legacy Award

Billy and Aaron, directed by Rodney Evan,

 

Centerpiece

Hooters directed by Anna Margarita Albelo

 

Best Jury International Feature

Children of God directed by Kareem Mortimer

 

Best Jury Short Award

Tracks, directed by Deana Williams

 

Best Jury web/Tv Series

Anacostia, Directed by Anthony Anderson

Now in its 3rd year, Queer Black Cinema International Film Festival is the leading venue for the exhibition of Black LGBTQ theme cinema on the East Coast (outside of pride events). The stand alone festival takes place mid October Annually screening over a dozen films of the best films about the Black LGBT experience from around the world. This year the festival included the first Independent Producer Series presented by Eggup.com.  Panelist included industry professional such as Executive Producer Ralph Scott of BET/Lens On Talent, Mike Dennis, CEO of Reel BlackTV and Afu Kafi-Akua, Senior Manager at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Panelist gave key incite on how the film & television industry work and the opportunities that exist for producers of color.  “The series was a great success and will continued throughout the year.  “My team and I look forward to producing series that help to mold the emerging and enlighten the establish filmmakers  “ said, Angel L. Brown- Ross, Festival Director/producer.

Other highlights includes: Journalist, Michael Henry Adams honors QBC founder, Angel L. Brown with a letter of acknowledgement and historical representation for providing a platform about the Black LGBT experience in Harlem from New York State Senator Bill Perkins of district 30th District.  QBC ReelTALK, an intimate discussion included host, Diedra Meredith, Executive Director of Out Music and Kareem Mortimer for Opening Night Film, “Children of God”;  Skyler Cooper and Deak Evgenikos from Centerpiece/Double Feature films, “OWLS” directed by Cheryl Dunye and “Hooter” Director Anna Margarita Albelo and closing with Ryan Richmond director of “Money Matters.”  For more information please visit: http://www.queerblackcinema.org

QBCIFF recognizes the generous support of: GMAD, ASTRAEA, EGGUP.com, SWERV Magazine, CINEMATIQ Magazine, Our Stories Productions

For 2010 festival wrap up including listing of films and film descriptions visit – http://www.queerblackcinema.org

Festival founded by Angel L. Brown-Ross

For more information, please contact

Media Contacts:
press@queerblackcinema.org

About Queer Black Cinema International Film Festival

Founded by Angel L. Brown in 2007/8,Queer Black Cinema International Film Festival is a progressive socially conscious film festival that will bring you the best Black LGBTQ theme films from around the world. The Annual festival provides a platform for both gay and straight filmmakers of African descent an opportunity to display their film work about the Black LGBT experience. The four-day festival consists of not only groundbreaking films but also panel discussions and industry professional leads including a Black LGBTQ Film & Book Market. The Festival takes place mid-October and plays a key role in the success of Queer Black Cinema Institute programming throughout the year. The official Website of the Queer Black Cinema International Film Festival is http://www.Festival.queerblackcinema.org

Queer Black Cinema Institute

Founded by Angel L. Brown in 2006, Queer Black Cinema Institute is the home of QBC, New York’s first and Only Black LGBTQ monthly micro-cinema series and annual international film festival. QBCI’s mission is dedicated to showcasing independent narrative and documentary works by and about U.S. and international progressive Black LGBTQ filmmakers. We are a socially conscious organization that uses films to create dialogue to address homophobia, alarming health issues and many other “taboo” issues relating to the Black LGBTQ experience. We provide an online resource to Black LGBTQ theme films and their makers as well as support LGBTQ youth of color emerging producers. In addition, we screen and promote artist trailers and original music of all people of color.

QBC film series takes place once a month/quartile at various locations throughout the New York Metropolitan area. The Annual four-day International Film Festival takes place at the National Black Theatre in Harlem mid-October. All are welcome to attend regardless of their sexual orientation, race or gender. We aim to entertain, enlighten and educate through our niche programming.

Queer Black Cinema Institute is now a hub for various projects since 2006: QBC College Film Tour (A traveling exhibition of Black queer short films creating an open dialogue about the Black LGBT experience), QBC Classics (re-introducing pioneer filmmakers and their film works that made an great impact on Black history), Just|BE (The Black Gay Erotica 72 hour Poetry & Film Competition on HIV/AIDS prevention & awareness), Fades Of Black Womyn Film Showcase (honoring Black Lesbian Womyn) and QBC TV Network (various original TV/web based shows – Musiq w/ a Q, INSIDE The Q, One on One w/QBC & QBC ReelTalk.)

2010 QBC Film Festival Announce Red Carpet

October 6, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2010
Media: Nina Kennedy
press2010@queerblackcinema.org
www.queerblackcinema.org
WHEN: Friday October 15th, at 5:30 pm.
WHERE: The National Black Theatre, 2031 Fifth Avenue (between 125th & 126th streets), Harlem, New York.
Red Carpet precedes a VIP reception starting at 6:30, and the screening of our opening night film “Children of God” directed by Kareem Mortimer, who will be present for a Q&A following the film.
For approval  please  email the following: Name of Media outlet, Your Name, Contact number  to : press2010@queerblackcinema.org.
For more information or to purchase tickets to screenings, visit our website: www.queerblackcinema.org

2010 CALL FOR FILMS – QBC International Film Festival (NYC) (via )

July 13, 2010

2010 CALL FOR FILMS - Queer Black Cinema International Film Festival (NYC) Released: 5/02/10 Contact: http://www.queerblackcinema.org info@queerblackcinema.org SKYPE: QueerBlackCinema 2010 QUEER BLACK CINEMA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES CALL FOR ENTRIES NOW AVAILABLE New York, NY– (May 2010) The 2010 Queer Black Cinema International Film Festival announces the call for entries for dramatic a … Read More

via

New Black Film Magazine Launching June 3

May 27, 2010

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***

New Black Film Magazine Launching June 3

CineMatiQ Magazine

Contact:

CINEMATIQ MAGAZINE

c/o Our Stories Productions, LLC

PO Box 975

New York, NY 10113

press@cinematiqmag.com

www.cineMatiqmag.com

www.facebook.com/cineMatiq

Our Stories Productions. LLC  presents CINEMATIQ, a new  quarterly publication created to bring readers a unique and distinct perspective on All Black images in cinema and beyond. CINEMATIQ Magazine will be the platform to highlight Black images in cinema. The publication will include how to article, articles on pre-production to distribution, interviews with both independent and mainstream filmmakers with a strong resource component.  The sample issue of CINEMATIQ Magazine will be available for review  free as a download online June 3, 2010 at http://www.cineMatiqmag.com.

New York, New York May 25, 2010–CINEMATIQ Magazine is the brainchild of the Founder/Executive Producer of Queer Black Cinema International Festival Angel L. Brown. In 2006, after seeing the lack of representation in various film series/festivals throughout New York City, Angel created Queer Black Cinema, a monthly micro-cinema screening Black LGBT themed films.

Two years later Angel single-handedly launched Queer Black Cinema International Festival, a four day Annual event screening the Best Black LGBT theme films from around the world. Submissions were open to both gay and straight filmmakers to submit stories of the Black LGBT experience. QBC Int’l Festival past line up includes QBC Int’l Festival past line up includes, Opening film, Mississippi Damned directed by Tina Mabry (Winner of Urban World Film Festival/ABFF),  Truth Hall directed by Jade Jenise Dixon  winner of 2008 QBC Int’l Festival for Best Feature which most recently aired on BET and Finding Me directed by Roger Omeus Jr picked up by TLA Releasing, one of the longest standing LGBT distribution companies in the US.

 

“Creating CineMatiq Magazine was a natural step for me. I had the idea in my head since the launch of QBC micro-cinema in 2006. It was a matter of time and experience learning the film business and becoming a leading resource/consultant of Black  cinema. Launching CineMatiq was another way for me to give back to the community creating a platform in print, archiving film critique for people to discussion and debate for generations long after I leave this earth.” – Angel L. Brown

CINEMATIQ will be a quarterly publication available in print exclusively at http://www.cinematiqmag.com. It will feature indie and mainstream filmmakers on the cover. Content will include everything from film reviews to equipment suggestions and production advice columns.

Brown has traveled the world shooting and producing projects from London to South & East Africa and has been featured in several printed magazines including GO Magazine popular issue “100 Women We Love”, NYANSAPO, TimeOut NYC and many others.

About Our Stories Productions (www.ospfilms.com)

Our Stories Productions,LLC is an independent multi-media production company officially established in 2005. Our Stories Productions is dedicated to producing stories in search of truth and spirituality reflecting on and preserving people of African Diaspora history. We aim to enlighten and re-introducing experiences of the African Diaspora from a distinct, unconventional thought-provoking storytelling perspective, aiming to breakdown generations of silence, isms and stereotypes. http://www.ospfilms.com

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Lena Horne, Singer and Actress, Dies at 92

May 10, 2010
Article By ALJEAN HARMETZ
Published: May 9, 2010

Lena Horne, who was the first black performer to be signed to a long-term contract by a major Hollywood studio and who went on to achieve international fame as a singer, died on Sunday night at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York. She was 92 and lived in Manhattan.

Her death was announced by her son-in-law, Kevin Buckley.

Ms. Horne might have become a major movie star, but she was born 50 years too early, and languished at MGM in the 1940s because of the color of her skin, although she was so light-skinned that, when she was a child, other black children had taunted her, accusing her of having a “white daddy.”

Ms. Horne was stuffed into one “all-star” musical after another — “Thousands Cheer” (1943), “Broadway Rhythm” (1944), “Two Girls and a Sailor” (1944), “Ziegfeld Follies” (1946), “Words and Music” (1948) — to sing a song or two that could easily be snipped from the movie when it played in the South, where the idea of an African-American performer in anything but a subservient role in a movie with an otherwise all-white cast was unthinkable.

“The only time I ever said a word to another actor who was white was Kathryn Grayson in a little segment of ‘Show Boat’ ” included in “Till the Clouds Roll By” (1946), a movie about the life of Jerome Kern, Ms. Horne said in an interview in 1990. In that sequence she played Julie, a mulatto forced to flee the showboat because she has married a white man.

But when MGM made “Show Boat” into a movie for the second time, in 1951, the role of Julie was given to a white actress, Ava Gardner, who did not do her own singing. (Ms. Horne was no longer under contract to MGM at the time, and according to James Gavin’s Horne biography, “Stormy Weather,” published last year, she was never seriously considered for the part.) And in 1947, when Ms. Horne herself married a white man — the prominent arranger, conductor and pianist Lennie Hayton, who was for many years both her musical director and MGM’s — the marriage took place in France and was kept secret for three years.

Ms. Horne’s first MGM movie was “Panama Hattie” (1942), in which she sang Cole Porter’s “Just One of Those Things.” Writing about that film years later, Pauline Kael called it “a sad disappointment, though Lena Horne is ravishing and when she sings you can forget the rest of the picture.”

Even before she came to Hollywood, Brooks Atkinson, the drama critic for The New York Times, noticed Ms. Horne in “Lew Leslie’s Blackbirds of 1939,” a Broadway revue that ran for nine performances. “A radiantly beautiful sepia girl,” he wrote, “who will be a winner when she has proper direction.”

She had proper direction in two all-black movie musicals, both made in 1943. Lent to 20th Century Fox for “Stormy Weather,” one of those show business musicals with almost no plot but lots of singing and dancing, Ms. Horne did both triumphantly, ending with the sultry, aching sadness of the title number, which would become one of her signature songs. In MGM’s “Cabin in the Sky,” the first film directed by Vincente Minnelli, she was the brazen, sexy handmaiden of the Devil. (One number she shot for that film, “Ain’t It the Truth,” which she sang while taking a bubble bath, was deleted before the film was released — not for racial reasons, as her stand-alone performances in other MGM musicals sometimes were, but because it was considered too risqué.)

In 1945 the critic and screenwriter Frank Nugent wrote in Liberty magazine that Ms. Horne was “the nation’s top Negro entertainer.” In addition to her MGM salary of $1,000 a week, she was earning $1,500 for every radio appearance and $6,500 a week when she played nightclubs. She was also popular with servicemen, white and black, during World War II, appearing more than a dozen times on the Army radio program “Command Performance.”

“The whole thing that made me a star was the war,” Ms. Horne said in the 1990 interview. “Of course the black guys couldn’t put Betty Grable’s picture in their footlockers. But they could put mine.”

Touring Army camps for the U.S.O., Ms. Horne was outspoken in her criticism of the way black soldiers were treated. “So the U.S.O. got mad,” she recalled. “And they said, ‘You’re not going to be allowed to go anyplace anymore under our auspices.’ So from then on I was labeled a bad little Red girl.”

Ms. Horne later claimed that for this and other reasons, including her friendship with leftists like Paul Robeson and W.E.B. DuBois, she was blacklisted and “unable to do films or television for the next seven years” after her tenure with MGM ended in 1950.

This was not quite true: as Mr. Gavin has documented, she appeared frequently on “Your Show of Shows” and other television shows in the 1950s, and in fact “found more acceptance” on television “than almost any other black performer.” And Mr. Gavin and others have suggested that there were other factors in addition to politics or race involved in her lack of film work

Although absent from the screen, she found success in nightclubs and on records. “Lena Horne at the Waldorf-Astoria,” recorded during a well-received eight-week run in 1957, reached the Top 10 and became the best-selling album by a female singer in RCA Victor’s history.

In the early 1960s Ms. Horne, always outspoken on the subject of civil rights, became increasingly active, participating in numerous marches and protests.

In 1969, she returned briefly to films, playing the love interest of a white actor, Richard Widmark, in “Death of a Gunfighter.”She was to act in only one other movie: In 1978 she played Glinda the Good Witch in “The Wiz,” the film version of the all-black Broadway musical based on “The Wizard of Oz.” But she never stopped singing.

She continued to record prolifically well into the 1990s, for RCA and other labels, notably United Artists and Blue Note. And she conquered Broadway in 1981 with a one-woman show, “Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music,” which ran for 14 months and won both rave reviews and a Tony Award.

Ms. Horne’s voice was not particularly powerful, but it was extremely expressive. She reached her listeners emotionally by acting as well as singing the romantic standards like “The Man I Love” and “Moon River” that dominated her repertory. The person she always credited as her main influence was not another singer but a pianist and composer, Duke Ellington’s longtime associate Billy Strayhorn.

“I wasn’t born a singer,” she told Strayhorn’s biographer, David Hajdu. “I had to learn a lot. Billy rehearsed me. He stretched me vocally.” Strayhorn occasionally worked as her accompanist and, she said, “taught me the basics of music, because I didn’t know anything.”

Strayhorn was also, she said, “the only man I ever loved,” but Strayhorn was openly gay, and their close friendship never became a romance. “He was just everything that I wanted in a man,” she told Mr. Hajdu, “except he wasn’t interested in me sexually.”

Lena Calhoun Horne was born in Brooklyn on June 30, 1917. All four of her grandparents were industrious members of Brooklyn’s black middle class. Her paternal grandparents, Edwin and Cora Horne, were early members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and in October 1919, at the age of 2, Lena was the cover girl for the organization’s monthly bulletin.

By then the marriage of her parents, Edna and Teddy Horne, was in trouble. “She was spoiled and badly educated and he was fickle,” Ms. Horne’s daughter, Gail Lumet Buckley, wrote in her family history, “The Hornes.” By 1920 Teddy had left his job with the New York Department of Labor and fled to Seattle, and Edna had fled to a life on the stage in Harlem. Ms. Horne was raised by her paternal grandparents until her mother took her back four years later.

When she was 16, her mother abruptly pulled her out of school to audition for the dance chorus at the Cotton Club, the famous Harlem nightclub where the customers were white, the barely dressed dancers were light-skinned blacks, Duke Ellington was the star of the show and the proprietors were gangsters. A year after joining the Cotton Club chorus she made her Broadway debut, performing a voodoo dance in the short-lived show “Dance With Your Gods” in 1934.

At 19, Ms. Horne married the first man she had ever dated, 28-year-old Louis Jones, and became a conventional middle-class Pittsburgh wife. Her daughter Gail was born in 1937 and a son, Teddy, in 1940. The marriage ended soon afterward. Ms. Horne kept Gail, but Mr. Jones refused to give up Teddy, although he did allow the boy long visits with his mother.

In 1938, Ms. Horne starred in a quickie black musical film, “The Duke Is Tops,” for which she was never paid. Her return to movies was on a grander scale.

She had been singing at the Manhattan nightclub Café Society when the impresario Felix Young chose her to star at the Trocadero, a nightclub he was planning to open in Hollywood in the fall of 1941. In 1990, Ms. Horne reminisced: “My only friends were the group of New Yorkers who sort of stuck with their own group — like Vincente, Gene Kelly, Yip Harburg and Harold Arlen, and Richard Whorf — the sort of hip New Yorkers who allowed Paul Robeson and me in their houses.”

Since blacks were not allowed to live in Hollywood, “Felix Young, a white man, signed for the house as if he was going to rent it,” Ms. Horne said. “When the neighbors found out, Humphrey Bogart, who lived right across the street from me, raised hell with them for passing around a petition to get rid of me.” Bogart, she said, “sent word over to the house that if anybody bothered me, please let him know.”

Roger Edens, the composer and musical arranger who had been Judy Garland’s chief protector at MGM, had heard the elegant Ms. Horne sing at Café Society and also went to hear her at the Little Troc (the war had scaled Mr. Young’s ambitions down to a small club with a gambling den on the second floor). He insisted that Arthur Freed, the producer of MGM’s lavish musicals, listen to Ms. Horne sing. Then Freed insisted that Louis B. Mayer, who ran the studio, hear her, too. He did, and soon she had signed a seven-year contract with MGM.

The N.A.A.C.P. celebrated that contract as a weapon in its war to get better movie roles for black performers. Her father weighed in, too. In a 1997 PBS interview, she recalled: “My father said, ‘I can get a maid for my daughter. I don’t want her in the movies playing maids.’ ”

Ms. Horne is survived by her daughter, Gail Lumet Buckley. Her husband died in 1971; her son died of kidney failure the same year.

Looking back at the age of 80, Ms. Horne said: “My identity is very clear to me now. I am a black woman. I’m free. I no longer have to be a ‘credit.’ I don’t have to be a symbol to anybody; I don’t have to be a first to anybody. I don’t have to be an imitation of a white woman that Hollywood sort of hoped I’d become. I’m me, and I’m like nobody else.”

Credit: New York Times