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 Mail Order Brides Are these images evidence of mail order brides in 1890s Chicago?
- Related Investigation Camp David Letter Could a box found in a dumpster hold information about the founding of a top-secret Presidential retreat?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Our Colored Heroes Is this a WWI recruitment poster... or something else?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Howard Hughes Invention Was this oil drilling device really a Howard Hughes invention?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi War Dog letter The military put great effort into a new War Dogs program during WWII. What went wrong on Cat Island?
- Related Investigation Red Hand Flag Is this peculiar flag one that African-American soldiers marched under in the war to end all wars?
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.