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 Charlie Parker's Saxophone Could this be jazz legend Charlie "Bird" Parker's saxophone?
- Related Investigation Whaling Ship Might a ship docked in Mystic Seaport, hold secrets to the Underground Railroad?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Civil War Sabotage? The steamship Sultana exploded one night in 1865, killing more than 1,800 people. Was the disaster a result of Civil War sabotage?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Texas Servant Girl Murders Years before Jack the Ripper, did a serial killer walk the streets of Austin, TX?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Kahlil Gibran Painting Is this painting an unknown work by an immigrant poet whose words inspired an American generation?
- Also with Tukufu Zuberi Wartime Baseball Is this baseball evidence of an unusual ballgame that took place during segregation?
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