Magazine article Black Masks

Ode to Billie Allen Henderson

Magazine article Black Masks

Ode to Billie Allen Henderson

Article excerpt

We should know

Exactly what to say

Seeing the joie de vivre

You lived ev'ry day

The opera, the symphony,

The dance, the ballet

On the Town with Jerome Robbins

You lit up Broadway!

Immeasurable riches

From Comden and Green

And a musical score by

Lenny Bernstein

Mamba 's Daughters

With Ethel Waters

A Raisin in the Sun

In its very first run

Balanchine gave you lessons

Which comes as no surprise

After all, you always aimed for

the best

The Cherry Lane, Saint Lucy's Eyes

At the Lincoln Memorial

As a young girl

You heard Marian Anderson

Sing from her soul.

Is that what inspired you

To be so fearless?

So incredibly bold?

In Detroit at a wedding

You met a young man

"My sister's writing a play,"

he explained.

Her name is Adrienne."

It wasn't Funny Girl

But Funny House of a Negro

You gave life to Sarah

A queen in her Congo-?

The murdered Lumumba

Victoria Regina

The nightmare ran and ran

'Til much more than Sarah's hair

Fell in her hands.

We should all know

Exactly what to say -?

Silvera milestones

TONY breakthroughs -? …

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