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.
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Transistor Radio Is this the oldest transistor radio in existence?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Yakima Canutt's Saddle What leading role did this saddle play in the birth of the Hollywood cowboy?
- Related Investigation Warner's Lighter What is the connection between Harry Warner and a studio associated with the Nazi party?
- Related Investigation Bill Picket Saddle Did this saddle ride into cowboy history with one of rodeo's most daring innovators?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Birth Control Box Could this unusual wooden box be an early contraceptive device?
- Also in Season 1 George Washington Portrait Could this be an authentic portrait of the nation's first president?
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