Sunday, September 19, 2021

Lena Horne’s Family Slams Racist Bronx Principal for Blocking Black-history Lessons

Daily News front pages for Feb. 11 (l.) and Feb. 14, 2018.

*The family of Lena Horne blasted racist Bronx principal Patricia Catania a day after the Daily News reported that she had confiscated a student-made poster celebrating the trailblazing singer and actress.

95% of students at the Intermediate School 224 are Black and Hispanic and Catania, who reportedly makes $154,257 per year, seemingly upholds white supremacist views and is prohibiting Black History lessons and is targeting black teacher and students.

Horne’s granddaughter Jenny Lumet said she and her mother, Gail, were “transcendentally outraged” to learn about Catania’s latest antics.

Catania, already under fire for ordering English teacher Mercedes Liriano-Clark to stop giving black history lessons, ignited fresh outrage this week when she seized the poster two sixth-grade girls created celebrating the life and work of Ms. Lena Horne.

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Daily News front pages for Feb. 11 (l.) and Feb. 14, 2018.

Lumet said the family was astounded that “this woman believes that the way to educate American children is to deny them access to great Americans.”

“Who doesn’t want young women of color to thrive?” Lumet added in a Wednesday interview with the Daily News.

“They’re hungry to learn about their heritage.”

Lumet also sang the praises of Liriano-Clark and offered to meet with the girls to share stories of Lena about how she shattered racial barriers.

“We salute Ms. Liriano-Clark for being exactly what a schoolteacher is, which is fearless,” said Lumet, who noted she was also speaking on behalf of her mother.

“And we absolutely salute the two girls who created the project.”

Meanwhile, Bronx Superintendent Richard Cintron is attempting to quell the growing controversy and the Education Department said it was open to discussing a school visit from Horne’s family.

“We encourage schools to provide opportunities for students to share their feedback and thoughts through appropriate and respectful activities, lessons and meaningful conversations, and welcome a discussion with the family about the possibility of a visit,” said spokeswoman Toya Holness.

Catania declined to answer a reporter’s questions as she left her Brooklyn home Wednesday morning.

“We have nothing to say,” said a man who identified himself as Catania’s husband. “That’s Board of Education regulations.”

Read the full story over at Daily News

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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