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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- Related Investigation Amos n' Andy Record Is this aluminum record an early recording of the old-time radio series?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Tiffany Window What can this watercolor reveal about the unexpected world of one of America’s great artists?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi 32' Ford Roadster Was this car among the popular hot rods that raced out at the dry lakes in the 1930s?
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