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 Howard Hughes Crash Was this the instrument that chartered Howard Hughes' near fatal plunge into Beverly Hills?
- Related Investigation Tiffany Window What can this watercolor reveal about the unexpected world of one of America’s great artists?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Diana How did this alleged lesbian autobiography escape censorship in the 1930’s?
- Related Investigation Internment Artwork What is the story behind these watercolor paintings of a prison camp?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Whaling Ship Might a ship docked in Mystic Seaport, hold secrets to the Underground Railroad?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Isleton Tong Was this building a safe haven for persecuted immigrants, or a hub for organized crime?
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