Grambling State University celebrates Black History Month by remembering important people and events throughout the African Diaspora.
We seem to praise Civil Rights leaders, singers, and thespians but where is the admiration for Black illusionists?
The first successful American born magician was not David Copperfield. He was a black man by the name of Richard Potter. During the antebellum era, Potter was a well-known ventriloquist and magician was considered a scientific interest to the elite in Boston.
Today, Grambling’s very own DeAngelo ‘Lightbulb’ Minnifield is pursuing Potter’s footsteps, forging a new path.
Minnifield, a member of Kappa Kappa Psi and social work major, believes his talents correlate with social services. Minnifield likens a social worker with key characteristics recognized in attempting helping another person in need to a magician.
“I have been practicing magic for over twelve years and (I’ve learned) major skills such as humility, discipline, direction and perseverance,” Minnifield said. “Social work is like magic. Without the dedication to hard work and performance wise, you wouldn’t get very far. As someone who wants to work in the community, I have to be cognoscente of my surroundings and the welfare others.”
But life wasn’t always enchanting for Minnifield. Like many college students, he has faced many challenges.
“My first semester was rough,” Minnifield said. “I struggled. There were times I went hungry at night because I didn’t have the resources to purchase dorm foods like noodles or water. My family did the best they could do. I was sad but at that moment, I decided to turn that negative experience into a positive. I used my side profession to make others happy and used the tips to support myself.”
Minnifield produced his own private magic shows at Grambling and make beats for people to bring in money.
Be under no illusion, Minnifield has the charm to cajole a bird out of a tree.
Minnifield met David Blaine in Las Vegas who gave him words of encouragement. He also has had the pleasure of meeting high profile illusionist Criss Angel and was able to perform a trick for him. Angel was impressed with some of Minnifield’s artwork, which he purchased for $500.
From past to present, each person Minnifield had met influenced him in a way made a substantial impact.
“I love to perform tricks in front of people and their reaction is the best thing ever,” Minnifield said. “That encourages me to keep coming up with innovative ideas just to see people’s reactions. Magic is not about me pulling a rabbit out of a hat. It’s about creating a moment of awe and how each moment can help others.”
There’s a bit of magic in everything. Altogether, it can be said that magic is to acquire power, wealth and helping others.
Currently, DeAngelo can be seen throughout campus performing free shows throughout campus. “My purpose is to make others feel good,” Minnifield said. “If you ever see me out, don’t hesitate to ask me to demonstrate a trick.”
If you have any inquiries, you can contact Mr. Minnifield via social Instagram @lightulbtheentertainer.