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 in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Ince Ledger What does this accounts ledger for a movie company have to do with the changing world of the Lakota Sioux?
- Related Investigation John Brown Pike How did this metal blade spark violent tension between the North and the South?
- Also in Season 2 Lost Gold Ship Is this wreck in Alaska the remains of a steamship carrying miners to the great Klondike Gold Rush of 1897?
- Related Investigation Exercise Records What role did these records play in the sculpting of america's fixation with fitness?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Lincoln Oath Was this note penned by Abraham Lincoln?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Anti-Slavery Flag Did this old sheet found in a family trunk contribute to the end of slavery in America?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.