Houston Forward Times

13 August 2014 Written by  Jeffrey L. Boney


I am a huge fan of watching magicians perform.

Whether it’s David Blaine, Criss Angel or David Copperfield, I’ve always stood in awe of their magic tricks and illusions. It seems like the more I see these magicians perform, the more I have the same reaction – wonder and amazement. I just caught Angel and Copperfield when I went to Vegas and I just picked up a DVD of David Blaine in the store the other day. I am a true fan.

With these magicians, I am always trying to figure out how they actually pulled off their respective magic tricks, because in my mind there’s absolutely no way I can see that they should be able to pull it off without me knowing how they did it; it’s hard to get anything past me.

No matter how many times I get the chance to watch these magicians perform, I’m constantly left stumped and trying to figure out how they did it.

Have you ever looked at magician perform before your very eyes and repeatedly tell yourself, as I do, that if you just pay close attention to everything they do that you won’t miss the key part of the magic trick being performed?

If you are anything like me, you intently focus and concentrate on every single movement and detail of the magic trick, when all of a sudden you’re left in total awe trying to figure out what you missed and how they were able to pull the wool over your eyes once again.

Can you relate to that?

As a spectator, you’re left with this perplexed feeling – knowing it’s just a magic trick, yet amazed at the ability of the magician to pull it off without your knowledge and always seeming to overwhelm you with amazement once the feat has been successfully executed.

They are masters and only those behind the scenes know how the magic trick really works.

I don’t know if you remember this series of television shows that was shown here in the U.S. in the early 2000’s called ‘Breaking the Magician’s Code: Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed’, but it featured this masked man who was promoted as a well-known magician who’d perform some of the top magic tricks and illusions that were performed by many of the world’s top magicians. The masked magician would perform these high-level magic tricks and then reveal the secrets behind each magic trick; explaining the specific details of each magic trick being performed. I must say, it was must-see-TV.

At the height of the shows’ popularity, The Masked Magician became widely popular amongst viewers; but as you could imagine, he became extremely unpopular amongst other magicians because he went against the magician’s code, which was a promise made by working magicians to never reveal the basis of their tricks or else risk getting blackballed by fellow magicians. The Masked Magician’s fellow magicians were upset that he would dare reveal the secrets to their most treasured magic tricks that had kept audiences mesmerized for years.

There are so many institutions and establishments that exist in America today that are run by an unwritten code that everyone swears to adhere to; either directly or indirectly.

Sadly, there a countless magic tricks being performed on African American people in this country on a continuous basis. Most of the behind the scenes activity that contribute to the negative issues impacting Black people is being performed by masterful magicians who need to be exposed for who they are – magicians who live by a code of silence and a smoke screen.

A smoke screen, by definition, is an action intended to conceal or confuse. In the military, smoke screens are used to hide movement from an enemies’ line of sight.

There are so many circumstances and ailments that plague the Black community that one could argue that the Black community is under constant attack. These magicians in charge know about these serious issues, such as the influx of life-threatening diseases; aggravated assault and crime; drug and alcohol abuse; teenage pregnancy; single-parent households; high unemployment; school closures and educational disparities; mandatory minimum sentencing; high incarceration rates; and the list goes on.

Like a spectator at a magic show, we are mesmerized by a situation that looks as if the odds are stacked against us in the Black community.

I want to challenge us to step back and take a look at the whole picture concerning Black people and our plight; once we do that, we’ll quickly realize many of our issues are being manipulated by a skillful magician doing their best work. It’s not until we take a grassroots view and approach to our overall situation that we will begin to see the many contributing factors that have led to our current plight and condition.

Historically, Black people have always had to fight against horrible and seemingly insurmountable situations in this country; yet we fought, got engaged in the process of highlighting the root causes of our ailments and sought to address those issues proactively.

Every time we came together in unity we were able to overcome many of the obstacles we faced. Sadly, many people in the Black community get so consumed with one specific, hot-button issue that when these magicians concoct a new magic trick, we remain behind the 8-ball and are taken advantage of. As a people, we must stop being confused by these magic tricks and smoke screens; it is time for us to become the magician, not the confused spectator who has no clue of what’s going on.

More importantly, we need those who are behind-the-scenes and familiar with the tricks being played, to come from the shadows and expose the tricks to the world, so we can know.

Jeffrey L. Boney serves as Associate Editor and is an award-winning journalist for the Houston Forward Times newspaper. Jeffrey is a Next Generation Project Fellow, dynamic, international speaker, experienced entrepreneur, business development strategist and Founder/CEO of the Texas Business Alliance. If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

MAA WereReady