Legends of Snyder: A Black Heroic Magician: Black Magic in the Segregated South

The extraordinary Legends of Snyder: A Black Heroic Magician, although still shrouded in mystery, has beneficial lessons and abiding human values of truth. Despite racial segregation and discrimination predominantly in the southern states in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, there were many other good and fascinating things happening as well. This book documents some of those constructive things. The historical context of Snyder would have to include the great works of Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglas, James Weldon Johnson, Joe Louis, Lena Horne, Zora Neal Hurston, and a host of others who influenced and enriched the culture where the black magician Snyder performed incredible acts and stimulated and fascinated the minds of numerous individuals including Black and White audiences. This street open-air entertainer provided clean and wholesome excitement for diverse audiences of Black and White Southern Americans. He provided a refreshing awe-inspiring diversion from the labors, pain, and sorrows that were routine for many of these impoverished people. He illustrated that life has great possibilities and potentials for joy and happiness beyond the drudgery of injustice and oppression. Snyder added a new chapter to entertainment that forced inquisitive minds to raise questions beyond the natural to the supernatural, from the ordinary to the extraordinary, and from the simple to the mysterious.


--W. J. Demus Webb