The work of Enid Blyton has been linked to “racism and xenophobia” in updated blue plaque information by English Heritage.
The charity’s blue plaque scheme, which has seen more than 950 commemorative plaques placed in and around London, shows visitors where important people in history have lived and worked.
Blyton’s has been placed at her former home, 207 Hook Road in Chessington, where she started to develop her storytelling skills – and went on to write works including The Famous Five novels and The Secret Seven series.
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, the organisation said last June that it would be “contributing” to a review by the Mayor of London’s Commission for Diversity, looking at the historical figures that had been commemorated as part of its blue plaque scheme.
Now, when visitors use the organisation’s app or visit its website they will be given details of how the late author’s work has been criticised during her lifetime and after for its “racism, xenophobia and lack of literary merit”.
The information goes on to explain how an article in The Guardian in 1966 noted the racism of her book, The Little Black Doll. The children’s short story tells the tale of a doll named “Sambo” who is only accepted by his owner once his “ugly black face” is washed “clean” by the rain.
The information also cites Blyton’s publisher Macmillan in 1960 refusing to publish her story The Mystery That Never Was for what it called its “faint but unattractive touch of old-fashioned xenophobia”.
It also points to the Royal Mint’s decision in 2016 to turn down Blyton for commemoration on a 50p coin because, the advisory committee minutes record, she was “a racist, sexist, homophobe and not a very well-regarded writer”.
English Heritage does however note that “others have argued that while these charges can’t be dismissed, her work still played a vital role in encouraging a generation of children to read”.
Enid Blyton published about 700 books with worldwide sales of more than 200 million but was best known for her Secret Seven series, the Famous Five, The Faraway Tree and Noddy.
She died at the age of 71 in 1968.
Tupac Shakur’s brother asks for ‘accountability’ ahead of court appearance for alleged killer
On the junction of the Las Vegas strip where Tupac Shakur was shot dead in September 1996, only a graffiti-covered lamp post with some scrawls of “RIP Pac” and “Tupac Shakur, I love you,” hint at what unfolded here.
Tupac was rap music’s brightest star when he was shot four times at point-blank range while being driven along one of the city’s busiest streets. He died a week later.
His fame has only increased in the years since and his death is the subject of dozens of books, films and songs.
Until this week, many people had given up believing that police would crack one of America’s great unsolved crimes. But today, in a courtroom just a few miles from where he was killed and 27 years later, a man will enter a plea, charged with Tupac’s murder.
It is a moment Tupac’s family feared they would never see. His brother, Mopreme Shakur, told Sky News: “I was shocked, surprised, and taken aback because it’s been so long.
“We haven’t heard anything in 27 years. My daughter is 27 years old, so any accountability is good at this point.”
The man arrested is Duane Davis, better known in rap circles by his street name Keefe D.
He has long been known to investigators as one of four suspects identified early in the investigation. He isn’t the accused gunman but is described as the group’s ringleader by authorities.
In Nevada you can be charged with a crime, including murder, if you help someone commit the crime.
‘How far are they going to go?’
Mopreme believes others need to be held criminally accountable for his brother’s murder. “It would be a shame after all this time for them not to do this properly,” he says, “meaning that they look at all the connections to it and get the total justice that we want.
“There’s doubt in their sincerity. How far are they going to go? Are they going to go all the way and get all the accomplices? “
Duane Davis is accused of being the “shot caller” by authorities and is alleged to have handed the gun used to kill Tupac to the shooter. As early as 1998, Davis bragged about being at the scene of the crime and wrote a memoir in which he stated he was in the car from where the bullets were fired.
Mopreme says he believes Tupac’s murder would not have gone unsolved for so long if he had been white. “Pac was a young black male,” he says, “and we have challenges in this country when it comes to equal justice.
“That’s just the nature of the beast, it’s just the nature of the beast in America. I’m realistic about that.”
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Pamela Anderson praised by Jamie Lee Curtis for makeup-free appearance at Paris Fashion Week
Jamie Lee Curtis has praised Pamela Anderson for showing up to Paris Fashion Week with no makeup on, crediting her with kicking off a “natural beauty revolution”.
Curtis wrote: “THE NATURAL BEAUTY REVOLUTION HAS OFFICIALLY BEGUN!
“Pamela Anderson in the middle of fashion week with so many pressures and postures, and and and, this woman showed up and claimed her seat at the table with nothing on her face.
“I am so impressed and floored by this act of courage and rebellion.”
Actress Selma Blair commented “Love this. Beautiful self-assuredness,” while comedian Chelsea Handler wrote, “That’s pretty iconic”.
Michelle Visage added, “And she was GLOWING”.
The images of Anderson were taken on Thursday at the Isabel Marant Womenswear Spring/Summer 2024 show at Place Colette during Paris Fashion Week.
She also attended the Victoria Beckham show the following day.
Anderson, 56, who in her youth embraced cosmetic enhancements to the extreme, has since adopted a more natural look.
She told Elle last year that started going makeup-free after her makeup artist Alexis Vogel sadly died from breast cancer.
Anderson said: “She was the best. And since then, I just felt, without Alexis, it’s just better for me not to wear makeup.”
Calling her low-maintenance approach “freeing, and fun, and a little rebellious,” she went on to joke about “the effects of time, which come to us all”.
She said: “I think we all start looking a little funny when we get older. And I’m kind of laughing at myself when I look at the mirror. I go: ‘Wow, this is really…what’s happening to me?’ It’s a journey’,” she said. “I feel rooted for. I feel good. I’m in a good place.”
Meanwhile Curtis has long been a fan of growing old gracefully.
During a conversation with Maria Shriver for the Radically Reframing Ageing Summit in March 2022, she said: “I am an advocate now for natural beauty because I do feel that there has been a genocide on natural beauty.
“This word ‘anti-ageing’ has to be struck, because what the f*** is ‘anti-ageing?’ I am pro-ageing. I want to age with intelligence and grace and dignity and verve and energy. I don’t want to hide from it.”
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