Evelyn Dove embraced the worlds of jazz, musical theatre and, most importantly, cabaret, in a career spanning five decades from the 1920s through to the 1960s. A black British diva with movie star looks, she captivated audiences and admirers around the world, enjoying the same appeal as the 'Forces Sweetheart' Vera Lynn throughout the Second World War.
Refusing to be constrained by her race or middle-class West African and English backgrounds, she would perform for infamous Russian leader, Joseph Stalin; become a regular vocalist for the BBC and a celebrated performer across continental Europe, India and the US.
At the height of her fame in the 1930s, she worked with the pioneers of black British theatre, replacing Josephine Baker as the star attraction in a revue at the Casino de Paris and scandalizing her family by appearing on stage semi-nude.
This is a celebration of an extraordinary career punctuated with vertiginous highs and profound lows, and places Dove in historical context with artists of her time, such as Adelaide Hall, Dame Cleo Laine and Dame Shirley Bassey.
War to Windrush
Commemorating the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush, Stephen Bourne's War to Windrush explores the lives of Britain's immigrant community through the experiences of Black British women during the period spanning from the beginning of World War II to the arrival of the Empire Windrush in 1948.
In those short years, Black British women performed integral roles in keeping the country functioning and set the stage for the arrival of other black Britons on the MV Empire Windrush. The book shows first-hand what life was like in Britain for black women through photography and evocative prose.
War to Windrush retraces the history of those women who helped to build the great, multicultural Britain we know today. It is a celebration of multiculturalism and immigration, much needed in today's political climate.
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