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At the turn of the 20th century the main theatrical entertainment was Vaudeville, a show with something for everyone.
It was a world dominated by white entertainers, but despite this, a pioneering new act with an African-American ventriloquist emerged onto the scene.
Not only was John W. Cooper black, but his dummy was too.
Did "Sam" the first black ventriloquist dummy, transform how Americans viewed race in the early 20th century?
The History Detectives investigate.
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- Also in Season 1 Dutch Colonial Home What role did these menacing forts play in the settling of this part of the West?
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- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Bonus Army Stamp Is this stamp connected to a moment when the U.S. Army fought fellow soldiers in the nation’s capital?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Harley Davidson Motorcycle Did this motorcycle see action in World War I?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Mouse Toy Could this tiny toy labeled 'Micky' be the original Mickey Mouse?
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Anyone wishing to submit an artifact for investigation should do so through Submit a Story.
- Submit your StoryDo you have an object from an Emerging Modern America?
- Latest CommentIt turns out that this collage was sold last fall: http://www.worthpoint.com/wort... I wonder if it would be possible to contact the buyer by way of the auction house about getting a print made. (6 months ago)
- Twitterremember this investigation with @TukufuZuberi @elyseluray Tonight they reunite! Let us know your thoughts! @PBS http://t.co/4KMnc27K (1 year ago)
- FacebookCongrats on your exhibit, TZ! Here's a Washington Post article about the exhibit, everyone, and the great story TZ and Elyse did on his "Our Colored Heroes" story. http://tinyurl.com/mzpuyo8 http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/investigation/our-colored-heroes/ (6 months ago)