- Jeffrey Green
- and Rainer E. Lotz
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....