Hurston/Wright Foundation | In Black and White
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In Black and White

In Black and White

by Wil Haygood

In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr.

Sammy Davis, Jr was one of the most recognizable showbiz entertainers of the twentieth century. But his story was also one of contradiction and compromise: a black man trying to make his name as a star during a time of racial prejudice and even segregation, Sammy Davis, Jr never came to terms with the complexities of his situation, as Wil Haygood’s comprehensive new biography shows. He endured patronizing humiliation from his fellow Rat Pack members; he marched with Martin Luther King while, notoriously, cozying up to President Nixon and conducting numerous affairs with white women. Above all, he made his name as a vaudevillian entertainer by arguably accepting the role of honorary white man.

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