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.
Stephen Bourne has specialised in black British histories since 1991. He has written over 15 books, including the acclaimed Black in the British Frame, Elisabeth Welch: Soft Lights and Sweet Music and The Motherland Calls: Britain's Black Servicemen and Women 1939-1945. Stephen received the 2015 Southwark Arts Forum Award for Literature for Black Poppies: Britain's Black Community and the Great War. In 2017 he was awarded the Screen Nation Special Award and an Honorary degree from Southbank University for over 20 years in his field. He is a regular contributor to BBC documentaries and has written for many publications, including The Voice, The Independent, BBC History Magazine and History Today.
Hyenas can't walk without limping. Read this book to find out the story behind the hyena's limp.
This story 'Why Hyenas Limp' has been published on StoryWeaver by African Storybook Initiative. Released under CC BY 4.0 license.
'Do you ever wonder if you've lived the life you were meant to?' I ask her.
She sighs, and dips her head. 'Even if I do, what difference will it make?'
In 1988, two eight-year-old girls with almost identical names and the same love of ballet meet for the first time. They seem destined to be best friends forever and to become professional dancers. Years later, however, they have both been dealt so many cruel blows that they walk away from each other into very different futures - one enters a convent, the other becomes a minor celebrity. Will these new, 'invisible' lives be the ones they were meant to live, or will they only find that kind of salvation when they are reunited twenty years later?
The terrifying new Hammer novella by Minette Walters, bestselling author of The Sculptress and The Scold's Bridle
'Muna's fortunes changed for the better on the day that Mr and Mrs Songoli's younger son failed to come home from school.'
Before then her bedroom was a dark windowless cellar, her activities confined to cooking and cleaning. She'd grown used to being maltreated by the Songoli family; to being a slave.
She's never been outside, doesn't know how to read or write, and cannot speak English.
At least that's what the Songolis believe.
But Muna is far cleverer - and her plans more terrifying - than the Songolis, or anyone else, can ever imagine ...