Show Summary Details

Page of
<p>Printed from Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see <a href="https://global.oup.com/privacy" target="_blank">Privacy Policy</a> and <a href="/page/legal-notice" target="_blank">Legal Notice</a>).</span></p><p>date: 25 June 2019</p>

Davis, Bellelocked

(b. 1874, d. in or after 1938)
  • Jeffrey Green
  •  and Rainer E. Lotz

Extract

Davis, Belle (b. 1874, d. in or after 1938), dancer and singer, was born in Chicago on 28 April 1874, the daughter of George Davis. Of European and African ancestry, she spent most of her adult life abroad, largely in Britain, where she arrived in mid-1901 with two boys who were billed as Piccaninny Actors. Her performance style changed from ‘coon shouting’ and ‘ragtime singing’ in the 1890s to a more decorous manner, where prancing children provided the amusement. She directed their stage act, and with two, sometimes three or four, black children the act was a vigorous and popular entertainment in British and continental theatres....

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Access to the full content requires a subscription