- Buckley, Gail Lumet, 1937-
- Call number
- Sc MG 327
- Physical description
- 1.5 linear feet (4 boxes)
- Preferred Citation
- Horne Family research collection, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library
- Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
- Access to materials
- Advance notice required. Request access to this collection.
Collection of photographs, original documents and correspondence related to the Horne family, assembled by Gail Lumet Buckley during the research and writing of her book "The Hornes: An American Family" (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986.) Included are articles, programs, awards, memorabilia, business correspondence and papers, financial data, and other printed material dealing with the careers of singer Lena Horne, her uncle, Frank S. Horne, a member of the Roosevelt "black cabinet" and poet, and other members of the Hornes and their extended family.
The Horne Family Research Collection documents the life history of the Hornes (formerly spelled Horn) and the Calhouns and their extended family from circa 1777 until the present. Born in Maryland circa 1777, the founding mother of the Calhoun family was Sinai Reynolds, who enjoyed "favored slave" status as the household cook, and was given the opportunity to learn to read and write. After she bought her freedom in 1859, Mrs. Reynolds, her husband Henry, and four of their seven children moved to Chicago. Two of the children had been sold as slaves outside of Georgia, and the eldest child, Nellie, remained in Coweta County as a cook. Nellie's son, Moses Calhoun, who was freed from slavery after the Civil War at age 36, became a restaurateur and a prominent member of Atlanta's black bourgeoisie. His daughters, Cora and Lena were belles of the black South--Cora graduating from Atlanta University, class of 1881 and Lena attending Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, a classmate and romantic interest of W.E.B. Dubois. The Horne branch of the family began in Georgia in 1887 when Nellie's granddaughter, Cora, married Edwin Fletcher Horn, son of a British sea captain of a Tennessee River trading boat, and a Native American.
The Horns lived in Atlanta, Georgia and later moved to Brooklyn, New York, a stronghold of the black bourgeoisie, 10 years later to escape the segregation and violence that, in the wake of Reconstruction's demise, was permeating the South. Horn was an alternate delegate to the 1884 Republican Convention, as well as a school teacher, journalist and entrepreneur. Of their four sons, Frank Smith Horne became a poet, writer-intellectual, optometrist; teacher and a member of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "black cabinet," working in the National Youth Administration. Edwin Fletcher Horne, Jr., known as "Teddy," sportsman and bon vivant, and Edna Scrottron were the parents of the family's most illustrious member, Lena Horne, born in 1917.
- African American entertainers -- New York (State) -- New York
- African American motion picture actors and actresses
- African American poets
- African American singers
- African Americans -- Intellectual life
- African Americans in the performing arts
- Women singers -- United States
Using the collection
LocationSchomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
515 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, NY 10037-1801