Benjamin Rucker, a.k.a. “Black Herman” was a groundbreaking and prominent African-American magician in the early 1900’s. He got his start with a white magician that went by Prince Herman, and the two would peddle tonics and elixirs on the road along with performing magic hand tricks. Hence, Rucker was called Black Herman.

Black Herman’s most famous trick was his “Private Graveyard” where he would sell tickets three days before his performance and invite people to watch his "lifeless body" be placed in a coffin and buried near the venue of his next show. An audience member was allowed to check for a pulse. On the day of the show, the audience would witness the coffin being lifted from the ground and watch the magician emerge alive. Black Herman then lead the crowd to the theater for his performance.


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