Friday, February 15, 2008

Sammy Davis, Jr.: Harlem And Cuban Roots

On a previous post that had a biography of Sammy Davis Jr it was mentioned that there was some dispute as to whether Sammy's mother was Puerto Rican or Cuban. I think I found the primary source evidence to prove that she was Cuban. In the 1930 census there is an Elvera Davis living at 4 East 132nd Street and it states that she was born in Cuba as were her parents. I'm pretty convinced that this is the Elvera Davis that is Sammy's mother since the census (click on the image to make it more visible) states that she is an actress. Her maiden name was Sanchez, which the biography mentioned. It also mentioned that she had a sister named Julia. Sammy in 1930 was probably on the road with his father, who had custody of him, but it is likely that he visited this address when he came to New York. From the pictures obtained through Google it looks like the 1930 era apartment building is still there. I'll have to check it out.


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