A Song For You… Lena: The Civil Rights Journey of a Negro Woman- Lena Calhoun Horne
Celebrating a Successful Fall Fundraising Event!
A big THANK YOU to our lead sponsors for their generous support of this event: The Ammon Family (Mary, Gary, & Doug), Mrs. Henry A. Jordan, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, The Honickman Foundation, and The Lomax Family Foundation.
On Saturday night, September 29th, Community Partnership School supporters new and old gathered at Germantown Academy for an entertaining and enlightening one-woman performance starring Wendi Joy Franklin, which celebrated the civil rights journey of renowned singer and actress Lena Horne. Ms. Franklin has performed her show, "A Song for You... Lena," at venues across the country to great acclaim.
A VIP reception preceded the show, giving many of the guests a chance to mingle over drinks and appetizers. Then all attendees convened in the Arts Center Auditorium for a pre-performance program of speakers honoring those who made the event possible and reflecting on Community Partnership School’s mission as a continuation of Lena Horne’s fight for equality. Dawn Timmeney, NBC 10 News Anchor/Reporter, graciously served as Mistress of Ceremonies. The audience heard from Community Partnership School's Director of Development, Carol Hill; Event Chairs Kezirah Vaughters and Mary Ammon; Host Committee Chairs Pastor Charles Quann and the Honorable Renee Cardwell Hughes; Head of School Eric Jones; and finally, from Community Partnership School students themselves. About a dozen 4th and 5th grade students performed a memorable thank you song for actress Wendi Joy Franklin and presented her with a “million dollar” check to express their gratitude for her work keeping alive Lena Horne’s civil rights activism.
The feature performance that followed was a heartfelt retelling of Lena Horne’s childhood struggles as she was relocated back and forth between her grandmother in Brooklyn and her mother in the segregated south, experiences which formed the basis for her later activism. Ms. Franklin brought the very aura of the older Lena Horne to life as the character of Ms. Horne reflected on her life and the pain of feeling that she was not accepted by her own people because of her lighter skin tone. The performance illuminated the roots of Lena Horne’s later activism, including her participation in NAACP rallies and the March on Washington. In the final moments of the show, a slideshow depicted some of the most familiar and moving scenes from the Civil Rights Movement. Wendi Joy Franklin ended the show with a song that both captured the power of Lena Horne’s activism and reminded the audience of Ms. Horne’s achievements as a performer, including her ability to connect with the audience.
Community Partnership School would like to congratulate Wendi Joy Franklin for a stellar performance! Stay tuned for photos from the event coming soon!