Icon Lena Horne to Become 1st Black Woman With a Broadway Theater Named in Her Honor

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Outdoor portrait of singer Lena Horne, wearing a hat, September 9th 1964.
Outdoor portrait of singer Lena Horne, wearing a hat, September 9th 1964.

Over the weekend, it was revealed that legendary performer and activist Lena Horne would become the first Black woman to have a Broadway theater named in her honor.

Per NBC News, the decision was announced through the Nederlander Organization, a longstanding, world renowned company that operates historic theatres, produces and presents the best in theatrical and concert events, and innovates new ways to engage future generations of theatergoers. The move comes as a part of an overall agreement between the aforementioned organization, Black Theater United (founded by Audra McDonald and Billy Porter) and a pair of other landlords to have “at least one of their theaters named after a Black artist, among other actions that seek to reassert their collective commitment to diversity and anti-racism.”

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The theater set to be renamed is the Brooks Atkinson theater located in New York, New York. It’s currently serves as the home for Six, the play that took home the award for Best Score at Sunday’s 2022 Tony Awards. It’s win made history as score composer Toby Marlow became the first non-binary artist to ever win a Tony.

Speaking on the news, James L. Nederlander, president of the Nederlander organization said: “It is my privilege, honor, and duty to memorialize Lena for generations to come.” He later added that he was “honored to have known Lena and that she became a part of our family over the years.” Horne passed away on May 9, 2010, at the age of 93.

Prior to this, and as an additional a part of the agreement between Black Theater United and the other partners, the Shubert Organization announced it would be renaming the 110-year-old Cort Theatre after veteran Broadway and TV/film star James Earl Jones this past March.