In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr
by Wil Haygood
Sammy Davis, Jr was one of the most recognisable showbiz entertainers of the twentieth century: dancer, singer, hyperactive cabaret performer, film ... Show synopsis Sammy Davis, Jr was one of the most recognisable showbiz entertainers of the twentieth century: dancer, singer, hyperactive cabaret performer, film star and hard-drinking, high-living bad-boy member of Las Vegas's legendary Rat Pack along with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Peter Lawford. 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. He endured patronising 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. This is the definitive portrait of the Rat Pack's most interesting and maverick member.