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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.
- Related Investigation Broadway Ballet Shoes Did this dancer's great-great-grandfather teach Salvatore Capezio to make ballet shoes?
- Related Investigation Charlie Parker's Saxophone Could this be jazz legend Charlie "Bird" Parker's saxophone?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Japanese Balloon Bomb Is this scrap of fabric evidence of a secret wartime attack on the United States' mainland?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Star Spangled Banner Is this the first official copy of the national anthem?
- Also in Season 2 Early Monopoly Could this be the earliest version of the world's best-selling board game?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Sears Home Might an Ohio couple's residence be a long-forgotten Sears home?
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- Submit your StoryDo you have an object from an Emerging Modern America?
- Latest CommentIt turns out that this collage was sold last fall: http://www.worthpoint.com/wort... I wonder if it would be possible to contact the buyer by way of the auction house about getting a print made. (9 months ago)
- Twitterremember this investigation with @TukufuZuberi @elyseluray Tonight they reunite! Let us know your thoughts! @PBS http://t.co/4KMnc27K (1 year ago)
- FacebookCongrats on your exhibit, TZ! Here's a Washington Post article about the exhibit, everyone, and the great story TZ and Elyse did on his "Our Colored Heroes" story. http://tinyurl.com/mzpuyo8 http://www.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/investigation/our-colored-heroes/ (9 months ago)