Sammy Davis Jr. – Civil Rights Activist

During his career as an actor, singer, and comedian, Sammy Davis Jr. became known for his role in the film “Father of the Bride,” but his work has also touched many other areas of society, including civil rights activism.

Sammy Davis Jr.

Early life

During his early life, Sammy Davis, Jr. was a vaudeville and recording artist. He was born in New York’s Harlem neighborhood on December 8, 1925. He was raised by his grandmother Rosa Davis.

When he was a child, Davis was a member of the Will Mastin Troupe, a vaudeville troupe. He also performed with his father.

In addition to performing in vaudeville, Davis starred in several films during the 1960s. He also appeared on several television specials. His career also took a turn in the 1980s. He became a member of the Rat Pack. His music career began to decline, though he still managed to perform on Las Vegas shows.

Davis was also a member of the Republican Party. He supported President Richard Nixon, and publicly endorsed him at the 1972 Republican National Convention. However, he no longer attended political functions.

Davis was a gun owner and enjoyed shooting. He showed off his gunspinning skills on television variety shows. He also participated in several television westerns.

In the 1950s, Davis was seriously involved with Kim Novak. However, their relationship faced harassment due to racial tensions. He also met with Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, who taught him how to dance.

In 1968, Davis starred with Lawford in Salt and Pepper. The film was a hit. The sequel appeared the following year. Davis and Lawford were also in Robin and the Seven Hoods.

Davis was also a member of Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack. In the early 1970s, he became alienated with the black community. He also had a drinking and drug addiction. He was also attacked by the Ku Klux Klan. He later converted to Judaism.

Davis made his stage debut at age three. He was billed as Silent Sam, the Dancing Midget. He also became a member of the Will Mastin Trio. He also studied under Jack Benny, Humphrey Bogart, and Frank Sinatra.

Marriage to May Britt

During the 1960s, when interracial marriage was illegal in 31 states, Sammy Davis Jr.’s marriage to May Britt, a Swedish actress, was a hot topic. But, despite the media attention and controversy, they actually married in a private ceremony at the home of Davis. They had their daughter Tracey and adopted sons Mark and Jeff.

In the early ’50s, Davis gained national fame, and was a member of the famous vaudeville troupe, The Rhythm Boys. He also performed for troops during World War II. He was awarded the World War II Victory Medal. He was inducted into the National Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Literature from Atlanta University in 1981.

When Davis married May Britt, the couple was seven years ahead of their time. They were married in a private ceremony, and their wedding was photographed in Hollywood, California. Davis gave his wife a gold wedding band. They were married in front of family and close friends.

As their marriage began to gain national attention, Davis and Britt became subject to death threats. The couple were accused of betraying their race. They were subjected to racist insults in every corner of the country. And, as the couple remained active in show business, their marriage was also subject to political repercussions.

Davis and Britt’s marriage became an important part of the Civil Rights Movement. They were one of the six entertainers who doubled as trailblazers during the movement.

Their marriage garnered considerable attention in the media, including death threats and an invitation to President John F. Kennedy’s inaugural gala. Kennedy was reluctant to invite the couple because of his fears that it would upset Southern congressmen. However, he changed his mind just before the inauguration.

Return from war

Whether he was on the screen or in the audience, Sammy Davis Jr. had a career spanning five decades. He was a performer, singer, actor and comedian. He appeared in films, television shows, nightclubs, and on soap operas. He was a major fan of daytime television. He was particularly fond of shows produced by the American Broadcasting Company.

He was a member of the Rat Pack, which included fellow performers like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. They performed in several movies and television shows together. In addition to their musical performances, they performed on the soap operas produced by ABC.

In addition to his performing career, Davis also volunteered for the United States Army. He was drafted in 1943 and fought in World War II. He suffered an accident and lost his left eye. He then developed an interest in Judaism. He met a Jewish Chaplain at the San Bernardino Hospital and later adopted the Jewish faith.

He returned to the stage two months after his injury. He also wrote, performed and starred in the Broadway musical Mr. Wonderful.

During his time in the Army, he faced racism. He was drafted into a special forces unit. He also served in the entertainment regiment. His show had been scheduled to open in mid-season but it was failing to impress in the ratings against CBS comedies.

Davis was a close friend of President Richard Nixon. He also supported Nixon’s campaign for president in 1972. He made a USO tour to South Vietnam at Nixon’s request. He also made a documentary about his time in Vietnam.

He also became involved in racial politics. He felt that Jews and Black people had suffered similar oppressions in the past. He believed that a celebrity could help change things in a big way.

Interracial affair with Kim Novak

During the 1950s, interracial marriage was a controversial topic. Half of the states had laws against it. Polls showed that only four percent of Americans supported it.

Sammy and Novak had been dating for a few months. They met at a Chicago nightclub. Novak was starring in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Novak was the hottest movie star of her time.

Columbia Pictures’ boss Harry Cohn was very concerned about the relationship. He feared it would harm his studio. He hired a hitman to scare Sammy. He reportedly threatened to break his legs and put out his good eye.

Harry Cohn had a reputation as a domineering man. He regarded Novak as his property. He was determined to break her up with Davis.

Novak was upset that Cohn mistreated her. Cohn reportedly called Novak a dumb, fat Polack. He said he had invested a lot of money in her career.

Harry Cohn was determined to break up Novak and David Jr. He also threatened to break Davis’ legs and put out his good eye.

The opportunistic guests at the party knew something was up. They were all expecting a scandal.

Kim Novak had just returned to Chicago for the holidays. Novak was not in a physical position to deal with the pressure.

Harry Cohn was a crooked studio head. He feared that a marriage between a black man and a white woman would hurt his business. He found a replacement act for Davis.

When it was discovered that Novak and Davis were having an interracial relationship, the public was surprised. The two were in love. But the relationship was short-lived. After White divorced, Novak drifted away.

Sammy and Novak had a love affair that was equal parts civil disobedience and a love affair. They tried to keep it a secret.

Civil rights activism

During the mid-1960s, Sammy Davis was one of the premier celebrities raising money for the civil rights movement. His contributions helped to expand the civil rights movement base. He was involved in several events in support of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Davis also campaigned for Bobby Kennedy, the son of President John F. Kennedy, who was friendly to African-Americans, and Richard Nixon, the former president. He was a Southern delegate at the Democratic National Convention in 1960.

Then, in June 1960, he and white actress May Britt announced their engagement. The announcement caused a furor from white racists. It was also viewed as an incendiary act by the black community. They were not allowed into the Beachcomber Hotel because of their skin color.

Davis performed at the “Tribute to King” in New York City on 27 January 1961. He also performed at the Freedom Rally in Los Angeles on 18 June 1961. He was joined by Rat Pack singers Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.

Davis also performed at the March on Montgomery in 1965. He also performed at Carnegie Hall with Harry Belafonte. Davis performed 18 shows for about 50 people. He was also involved in the civil rights movement, marching from Selma to Montgomery and participating in the civil rights march from Montgomery to Selma.

In addition, Sammy participated in the Stars for Freedom rally in St. Jude, where he interviewed rank-and-file soldiers and performed. He also traveled to Vietnam in 1972.

Davis later campaigned for Richard Nixon, the former president, and he and his wife, Angela, were the first African-Americans to stay overnight at the White House. In 1973, he entertained at a White House concert.

Frequently Asked Questions


Sammy Davis Jr. Date of Birth is  Dec 8, 1925 – May 16, 1990


Sammy Davis Jr. Net Worth is $5 Million


Sammy Davis Jr. Height is 165 cm