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 with Tukufu Zuberi Preston Brook's Riding Crop Was this riding crop a gift from Jefferson Davis as a reward for attacking a political opponent?
- Related Investigation Stalag 17 Portrait What happened to the artist of this portrait made in a German POW camp?
- Related Investigation Japanese Balloon Bomb Is this scrap of fabric evidence of a secret wartime attack on the United States' mainland?
- Also in Season 2 Revolutionary War Cannon Is this the cannon that ignited the first battle of the Revolutionary War?
- Also in Season 2 Charlie Parker's Saxophone Could this be jazz legend Charlie "Bird" Parker's saxophone?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Hollywood Sign Is this a piece of the original Hollywood sign?
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