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 Japanese Balloon Bomb Is this scrap of fabric evidence of a secret wartime attack on the United States' mainland?
- Related Investigation Coney Island Lions Could this be an artifact from the bygone days of early amusement parks?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Nora Holt Autograph Book Why did this Harlem Renaissance luminary own a book filled with U.S. Presidents' signatures?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Mystery Crystal Cross Where did this mysterious religious relic discovered in an old Spanish mission originally come from?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Florida Map How did this faded map help unlock the riches of the New World?
- Also in Season 2 Little Bighorn Bayonet Could this bayonet have been used at one of the largest massacres of U.S. soldiers by American Indians?
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