Monday, May 10, 2010

Malalai Joya Speaks Out on TIME's Manipulations of Her Message

My source for everything that follows is here @ The Tehran Times.

May 11, 2010

Time has painted a false picture of me: Malalai Joya
By Sonali Kolhatkar

Outspoken Afghan activist and former member of the Parliament Malalai Joya has been one of the most vocal opponents of the U.S. and NATO war in Afghanistan. In a recent op-ed she called on the U.S. to “stop murdering my people.” 

Joya was suspended from the Afghan Parliament nearly 3 years ago for challenging warlord domination and lives in constant fear of her life. She has survived several assassination attempts but chooses to live in Afghanistan. Her memoir, A Woman Among Warlords with Derrick O'Keefe was published late last year (Simon and Schuster). Last month, Malalai Joya was named one of Time Magazine's “100 Most Influential People” of 2010. I reached her for an interview via satellite phone in Afghanistan on May 3, 2010.

Sonali Kolhatkar: You were just named one of the 100 most influential people of 2010 by TIME magazine. But author Hirsi Ali, who wrote the announcement, said, “I hope in time she comes to see the U.S. and NATO forces in her country as her allies. She must use her notoriety, her demonstrated wit and her resilience to get the troops on her side instead of out of her country.” How do you respond to this statement?

Malalai Joya: I am very angry with the way they have introduced me. TIME has painted a false picture of me and does not mention anything at all about my struggle against the occupation of Afghanistan by the U.S. and NATO, which is disgusting. In fact every one knows that I stand side-by-side with the glorious anti war movements around the world and have proved time and again that I will never compromise with the U.S. And NATO who have occupied my country, empowered the most bloody enemies of my people and are killing my innocent compatriots in Afghanistan. What TIME did was like giving an award to someone with one hand and getting it back with another hand. I have sent my protest through my Defense Committee, but TIME did not bother to even answer the protest letter. Perhaps this is the kind of freedom of expression exercised by TIME and the US. But I'm happy to see that many of my friends and supporters have objected to the write-up and expressed it by posting their comments on TIME's site or sending me many emails.

Sonali Kolhatkar: Earlier this year some journalists were able to confirm that U.S. troops had killed two pregnant women during a night-time raid. How common are such occurrences in Afghanistan today?

Malalai Joya: Yes, the U.S. and NATO often lie when they kill innocent people and also stop media from reporting civilian casualties. Most of the civilian casualties take place in remote areas of Afghanistan where there is no media to report it, so no one notices it. In many cases after killing people NATO (releases) statements saying that many insurgents were killed. When you try to find out from the local people, they are actually women and children killed, not insurgents. Afghan media are also mostly in the hands of the Afghan criminal bands. They rarely report civilians killed by the U.S. and NATO. In Afghanistan most media outlets, especially TV channels, are a tool for warlords of the Northern Alliance. For example warlords like Atta Mohammed, Qanooni, Mohseni, Mohaqqiq, Rabbani and others, each have their own TV channel and they naturally do not want to report civilian casualties by their U.S. and NATO masters.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul has an office that carefully monitors all media in Afghanistan and if they find any of them reporting against U.S. interests, they try using different means to stop it. Bribes are a very common means used. For the U.S. it's not just fighting a war through military means, but also on the propaganda front. I think propaganda plays a major role. They are trying to show the war is justified. When they kill civilians they immediately deny it and say that all the people killed are Taliban. When there is no chance for any independent confirmation, the lies are the only things reflected in the world media. There are only a few cases where some brave and justice-loving journalists like Jerome Starkey have come forward to unmake their shameful lies.

Sonali Kolhatkar: Much has been made recently of Karzai's statements in favor of the Taliban. How close is the Afghan central government to forging a peace with the Taliban? What will that mean for the U.S./NATO war? What will it mean for the people of Afghanistan?

Malalai Joya: I think Karzai cannot dare to make such a statement or try to meet the Taliban and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's party leaders without having an “OK” from the White House. Actually it is the U.S. that asks him to make peace with the Taliban and Hekmatyar's party or at least share power with them. Also the U.S. government needs to show the people of NATO countries that it is not a warmonger and is in favor of peace talks with the Taliban. But it is just a show. The U.S. doesn't want to fight the Taliban forever as it needs them as an excuse to continue the occupation of Afghanistan in the implementation of its strategic, regional, and military interests. I think some of the Taliban and Hekmatyar's leaders are already part of Karzai's regime. One of the main leaders of Hekmatyar's party, called Hadi Arghandiwal, is now the Minister of Economy under Karzai.

This is what the U.S. wants. These brutal and inhuman leaders have been created by the U.S. in the past and are ready to work for the U.S. as long as their pockets are filled with dollars and high posts are offered to them in the government. Actually the U.S. government is trying hard to empower reactionary forces and individuals in Afghanistan as they can use them to stop the emergence of pro-democracy and nationalist forces and groups in my country.

Sonali Kolhatkar: You recently wrote in an op-ed in the Daily Beast that there are a lot of anti-U.S. protests happening in Afghanistan today that go unreported. Tell U.S. more about these protests -- where are they happening, who is protesting, and are they also against the fundamentalists or just the US/NATO?

Malalai Joya: Yes, we have witnessed the protests of people, especially in the eastern and western parts of Afghanistan, over the past year. They are mostly reactions to civilians killed by the U.S. and NATO. With every bombardment by NATO, angry people come to the streets to raise anti-US slogans. But unfortunately they are not organized and in some cases the Taliban uses them. We have seen most of these protests in Nangahar, Ghazni, Loghar, Herat, and Helmand provinces but they are usually not reported. A few days ago angry protestors burned about 20 fuel tankers of NATO in Loghar which was one out of many such protests reported by the world media.

These protestors are not only against the U.S. and NATO but also against the Afghan government. People see that this government is deeply corrupt and in the hands of looters and murderers of the Northern Alliance. So they are deeply fed up. Last month a large crowd of thousands of workers in Baghlan province protested against Mahmood Karzai (vice chairman of the Afghanistan chamber of commerce and Hamid Karzai's younger brother), head of the “economic mafia” of Afghanistan who has his hold on some previously state-owned factories. The U.S. and NATO and the Afghan government usually ignore people's protests. But I believe that given enough time, such protests will become even more organized out of people's anger. Afghans are on the verge of uprising but poverty, destitution, and the non-existence of powerful democratic-minded forces in our country stops them from a very serious uprising. I'm sure in the next few years such forces will emerge and these protests will turn more powerful to shake the Afghan puppet government and the occupation forces.

Sonali Kolhatkar: The U.S. has made no secret for many months that it is about to launch an offensive against the Taliban in Kandahar. What do you think will happen this summer as a result of this offensive?

Malalai Joya: As I said before, the U.S. does not want to fight the Taliban forever. They only fight with them here and there to show the American people that the U.S. is at war in Afghanistan and their presence is necessary here. The offensive in Kandahar will not be different from Marjah and other areas of Helmand where they had such operations in the past. They make such a hue and cry about their military actions but in fact they just push the Taliban to other areas and then install some corrupt officials and police forces who are worse than the Taliban. In a few days the Taliban return as we experienced in the past. They declared Marjah as a Taliban-free district but in fact the Taliban has a permanent presence there. They had just left the area for a short time.

After the Marjah operation, a spokesperson of the Afghan Defense Ministry was asked at a press conference why they allowed the Taliban to leave the area and why the Taliban were neither killed nor arrested in Marjah. He answered that the purpose of the operation was not killing or arresting the Taliban, instead it was to push them out of the area.

So we expect that they will do the same thing with Kandahar. They will launch the operation and then allow the Taliban to go to another area and then later start an operation there. This is a battle for show, not a real war against terrorism. Otherwise for the U.S. and NATO, it is a task of only a few days to uproot the Taliban and defeat them forever. But then everyone will ask them to end the occupation of Afghanistan.

The only outcome of the Kandahar operation will be civilian casualties. Poor and innocent people are the only ones killed in the war. But the Taliban do not experience any defeat or even major casualties. Afghans know very well that the U.S. will neither bring democracy nor peace to Afghanistan. They know that the U.S. and NATO are empowering the enemies of democracy. But it is the duty of the Afghan people to fight for their values and understand that the occupation will only drag us more deeply into slavery. As always I pass this message to justice-loving people around the world that no nation can donate liberation to another nation.

Sonali Kolhatkar: Can you tell us what the status of your own parliamentary position is right now, since you were stripped of your elected position by the fundamentalists some years ago. Have you ever been made to face a court? Can you run again for parliament in the next elections?

Malalai Joya: In the last stage of the Inter-Parliamentary Union meeting, a delegation of Afghan parliamentarians promised that they would end my suspension so I could return to Parliament. But it was just a lie and they did not stand by their promise.

I received a letter from the court some months ago and I answered truthfully what my strong position was against the warlords. They asked me to apologize for my statements made in a TV interview -- and said that they would allow me back to the Parliament. But I stressed the truth of my statements and said that I would never apologize to criminals and looters. However, I still can run for elections which are due to happen later this year. But I have not made up my mind to run.

But whether I serve in Parliament or outside it, I will continue my fight for justice, democracy and against the occupation. Parliament was just a small part of my struggle but I still have many other options and fields. Going to a Parliament of criminals was a big torture for me. It was a torture every day to see the faces of these brutal men such as Qanooni, Sayyaf, Mohaqqiq, Piram Qul, Haji Almas, Haji Fayeed, etc. there. But I accepted the task on behalf of my people.

I think the next election will be even more disgusting and full of fraud. The new chief of the election commission is a known warlord of the Northern Alliance and he will try to bring all these warlords to the Parliament and stop the emergence of democratic-minded people like me. Many people think that at this point they will never allow me to win the election as they can't bear to have me inside the parliament once more. But I will continue the struggle as long as these criminals are in power, these sworn enemies of democracy, women's rights, human rights, and as long as these occupation forces are bombing from the sky, and supporting the enemies of my people and killing innocent people of my country.

For more information, visit

Sonali Kolhatkar is co-director of the Afghan Women's Mission, a U.S.-based non-profit that funds health, educational, and training projects for Afghan women. She is also the host and producer of Uprising Radio, a daily morning radio program at KPFK, Pacifica in Los Angeles.

(Source: Uprising Radio via

White Slavery in The U.S. South: Gender, Class, Race, Age, and Trafficking: The White Refers to the Slavers

[image is from here, and the information from the page where I found this follows the main post]

As you read what follows, please ask yourself this: "What question and issue ISN'T asked?" And the follow up question is: "What does it mean that we don't ask this question?" My answers follow the news article.

What follows is a cross post from, *here*.
Posted by jrbizzy at 10:53 am
May 10, 2010
Race and human trafficking in the U.S.: Unclear but undeniable

I watch and listen to the advocacy of human trafficking at rallies, on web sites, in government reports and NGO reports. The research and statistics on human trafficking in America are ambiguous, especially in relation to race and ethnicity. We need to explicitly recognize the connections between trafficking, poverty, migration, gender, racism and racial discrimination to adequately battle and destroy human trafficking in the U.S.
Trafficking persons is inherently discriminatory. Since an overwhelming majority of trafficked persons are women, trafficking in most circles is usually considered a gender issue, especially in the United States (majority of trafficking in the U.S. is sex trafficking). In the U.S., most state human trafficking laws explicitly and directly address sexual exploitation, ignoring or vaguely covering other types of trafficking (myths of trafficking).
However, a link that is rarely discussed in open forums about human trafficking is racial discrimination. A question that I don’t hear enough is, “Does race and ethnicity contribute to the likelihood of people becoming victims of trafficking?” I say, “Yes.” Furthermore, I believe that not only does race and ethnicity constitute a risk factor for trafficking, it may also determine the treatment those victims’ experience.
The Polaris Project, who does outstanding work in combating human trafficking, stated the majority of trafficked persons come from vulnerable populations, including undocumented migrants, runaways and at-risk youth, oppressed or marginalized groups, and the poor; specifically because they are easiest to recruit and control. In the U.S., statistically speaking, people of color more than fit this criterion.
Available Statistics by Race
A large majority of trafficked persons in the U.S. for the purposes of labor and sexual exploitation are people of color. Domestically, 50 percent of trafficked victims are children and an overwhelmingly are girls, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Most foreign nationals are women, children and men from Mexico and East Asia, as well as from South Asia, Central America, Africa, and Europe, about 17,500 each year, according to statistics compiled by Polaris Project and 2009 TIP report.
Seventy-seven percent of victims in alleged human trafficking incidents reported in the U.S. were people of color, according to a Bureau of Justice Statistics Report. An example of BJS’s ambiguity is that 747 out of 1,442 reported incidents recorded no racial or ethnic origin.
Racism is deeply embedded in human trafficking and must be racially inclusive and explicitly included in its literature, statistics and advocacy. To combat this modern-day slavery, the trafficking cycle should recognize explicitly the connections between trafficking, migration, poverty, racism, gender and racial discrimination.
We need to urge and support our NGOs, national and state governments to adequately report trafficking incidents. It is important to know the origin of the victims and the suspected traffickers, race and ethnic backgrounds to better understand the vulnerabilities and how traffickers exploit opportunities.
I am advocating that we remove and uncover the ambiguity of the characteristics of trafficked persons and the traffickers and be explicit about who they are and what populations in America are most affected so we can make specific and measurable progress. The notion that anyone can be a victim of human trafficking is true, however, the fact that the majority of victims are people of color should not be undermined or understated.
Jamaal Bell is media relations manager for the Kirwan Institute and the executive editor for Race-Talk. Prior to joining Kirwan in 2009, his communications experience included work for school districts, government and marketing communications firms. Jamaal has also served four years in the United States Navy. He holds a B.S. in Journalism and Public Relations from Ball State University. Follow him on Twitter @Jrbizzy.

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The question not asked is this:
Within the U.S., what is the race and gender of the PROCURERS and PURCHASERS (the abusers and the slavers)? What demographic are they from? Age, religion, region? In U.S. media, questions unasked means we don't want to focus on the realities revealed with the answer. Here's my answer to which demographic the majority of procurers and purchasers of human beings for sexual slavery or trafficked sex are: older, class-privileged, white, Christian, heterosexual, men.

I welcome anyone who is on the streets, in the hotels, in the homes, and in the other areas where the trafficking occurs, with cross-regional, national information, to provide the "statistical" details. And to further make my case that P.I.M.P.s and W.I.M.P.s (see my glossary to the right) like to be out of view, please review this VERY comprehensive information about prostitution, sex trafficking, and sexual slavery, *here*, which is where I found the image atop this post. Tons of information, titled "Sexual Slavery Information" with stunningly little about who is doing this! Is this just because we already know? Clearly not, because there is no stigma on that demographic for doing this, and when we see such men in the media, they aren't portrayed as slavers and traffickers, procurers and pimps. It's time to pull back the curtain and show the world the faces of who these white male fuckers, batterers, and rapists.

No More Stormy Weather, Lena Horne (June 30, 1917 - May 9, 2010). You've Left the World Far Brighter Than Before Your Grand Entrance

I have only known life on Earth with Lena Horne. Of course this is the case with anyone who dies, who was famous, who is older than me. But Lena was always a star, and one of the brightest. She shone in a social sky perennially and perpetually clouded by racism and misogyny. Oh, but how she broke through those clouds, like the Spring and Summer Sun, to pour out a beautiful, wondrous humanity that has left the world changed, better, stronger and more passionate. Her art and her life leaves behind a magnificent legacy. I am far richer in spirit for having been touched, through her music and her activism, each of which taught me to value full expression and to fight for freedom from white male supremacist intolerance and tyranny. May she rest in peace, and shine, always center stage, in the heavenly chorus. -- Julian

From The New York Times:

“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.”

Lena Horne, Singer and Actress, Dies at 92

Lena Hornewho 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.
Leo Friedman
Lena Horne appeared in “Jamaica,” a musical that ran on Broadway from 1957 to 1959.
    Associated Press
    Ms. Horne and Cab Calloway in “Stormy Weather.” The title song became one of her signatures.
    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 Kaelcalled 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.
    Associated Press
    Ms. Horne in 1981 after she won two Grammy awards for “Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music.”
      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.”