In Hollywood, her film credits included Swings Cheer, Broadway Rhythm, Cabin in the Sky, Stormy Weather, Death of a Gunfighter, and ultimately The Wiz. Despite being forever selective about the roles she agreed to take on, Lena Horne became the highest-paid black entertainer of her time. She refused to play stereotyped black domestic workers, for example, only accepting jobs that represented African-American women with respect.
In this way, Lena's acting overlapped with her career-long activism, which dated back as far as WWII when Lena refused to perform for segregated audiences. Once, upon seeing that black U.S. servicemen had been forced to sit behind German POWs, she walked off the stage to where the black troops were seated and performed to them, her back to the Germans.
She worked with Eleanor Roosevelt to pass anti-lynching laws. She marched with Medgar Evers in Jackson, Mississippi. She met with President John F. Kennedy at the White House to discuss the issue of civil rights. She was a member of the liberal group, Progressive Citizens of America. She spoke and performed on behalf of the NAACP and the National Council of Negro Women. She participated in Martin Luther King, Jr.'s the March on Washington in 1963.
In short, Lena Horne used her celebrity to agitate for positive change, including equal rights for African-Americans and women everywhere. Her. Whole. Life. Long. She also continued to perform right up until her death in 2010, receiving such accolades as a Tony and two Grammys.
Lena Horne blazed the trail for African-American women in the entertainment industry and used her platform to promote equality. That's why she's a Time Traveler Tours #HistoryHero.