mayugastank wrote:I dont know about good relationships between blacks and italians-from what I know and read Italians hate blacks-in NYC. They do deals occassionally -shoot theres millions of blacks and italians living side by side. But during the late 80s and 90s -italians and blacks were murking eachother out in Bensonhurst and Carnarsie strong italian hoods-Reverend Al Sharpton got shanked by an italian,during some movements he was having back in the day over some black kids getting chomped up in old italian hoods-as for in the pens-the mexican mafia and italians are real close-they get their back watched by the Surenos-since most italians arent into streetfighting and are way way older then your average convict -they would be easy targets. I havent read a mafia bust were anyone under 40 was arrested-dudes getting pinched in their 70s and 80s like nothing-their mafias are way older then any in the states and they outlasted and outlived all other ethnic whites-that shit is part of their culture and their mafias go back some 500 years in some spots -the mafia of today has been around unchanged for some 200+ years so its ingrained in their culture-and shows why they have lasted so long.But blacks and italians have a bad relationship on the east coast as blacks consider them crackers and italians consider blacks moulions'....look at the bronx tale-that story was supposed to be about everyday life in the ghetto. The relationship was bad and got worse during forced busing-they had to send in the guard in boston to stop the riots between italian and black kids in schools in the 1980s. That aint ever going to change. I would compare the italian and black relationship to the chicano and black relationship except without all the violence on the level out here.
LOl - Facrs =http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/gang ... ngs/5.html
A Brief History
Very little is known about organized black gangs that operated in Harlem, New York, during the Prohibition and Depression years. Almost all organized crime in Harlem during that time was run by Italian, Jewish, and Irish gangsters. A few loosely run black crime factions did exist and primarily concentrated on policy and lottery gambling, prostitution and drugs.
These are the true stories of a time, a place and a people who lived during one of our countrys darkest and most socially flamboyant periods. It was the era of the flappers, jazz music, the Harlem Renaissance, bootlegged booze, speakeasies, gin joints, Tammany Hall, and the mob the crooked politicians and gangsters who ruled over it all.
William Bojangles Robinson
Americas troops were finally back from the war to end all wars. World War I was over and the country was rejoicing. The Fifth Regiment of New Yorks National Guard proudly marched down Fifth Avenue, the men rhythmically striding in perfect unison to the lilting jazz music from the military band preceding them. Thousands of people lined the way, cheering and waving flags as the troops passed through the city. Everybody was smiling. Everybody was happy and optimistic. Their husbands, fathers, brothers and sons were back. The Hell Fighters were home. A uniformed Bill Bojangles Robinson pumped his drum majors baton wildly into the air as he marched in front of Lieutenant Jim Europes all black band, leading the returning warriors back home to Harlem.
Americas returning black soldiers were sure they now would be treated as equals, having bravely proved their worth by serving honorably overseas. More than 200,000 blacks populated Harlem and more were migrating from the cotton fields and sugarcane fields of the South to join those home from the war. The hope was that they all would find better paying work, better housing and equality. It did not take long for them all to realize that America had not changed. The whites only system was still solidly in place, and was steadily growing worse on a daily basis. The only work they found available were low-paying, menial jobs as janitors, servants, bootblacks, cooks, houseboys and baggage handlers; to name a few. These positions hardly paid them enough to live on and much less than any white person was paid for doing the same work. The doors to the good jobs were shut in their faces and they were dared to step out of line, under threat of severe repercussions. A few enterprising people did manage to open some nightclubs, restaurants and taverns that catered to Harlems black population.
Queenie and Bumpy
Stephanie St. Clair was a black French woman from Martinique, who immigrated to America in 1912 via Marseilles, France. In 1922, St. Clair took $10,000 of her own money and opened up a numbers bank in Harlem. She became known as Queenie, throughout Manhattan, but the people of Harlem referred to her respectfully as Madame St. Clair.
Queenie was a tall, abrasive and tough woman, with a seldom-seen gentle side, who ran the famous New York extortion gang known as The Forty Thieves. The Forty Thieves had a reputation of being so tough that even the white gangsters would not interfere with their illegal operations, or attempt to take over their turf. The gang had been around since the 19th Century and was predominantly white. Queenies infiltrating such an established, well-known gang gives credit to her persuasive powers and leadership abilities. It did not take long for her to spin off from the gang and strike out on her own. She utilized her experience and talents to set up operations as a policy banker and recruited some of Harlems blacks to support her and her growing numbers game. Within a year she was worth more than $500,000 with more than 40 runners and 10 comptrollers in her charge.
One of Queenies main recruits was a colorful character from Charleston, S.C., named Ellsworth Raymond Johnson. He had moved to Harlem with his parents when he was a small boy and was given the nickname, Bumpy, because of a large bump on the back of his head. He was a dapper gangster who always made it a point to wear the latest and best clothes and to flash a wad of cash wherever he went. Bumpy was a pimp, burglar and stickup man who possessed a recalcitrant attitude. He always carried a knife and gun, neither of which he was hesitant to use. All too often Bumpy ended up in barroom clashes over the slightest of issues. He feared nobody and did not shy from confrontations. Helen Lawrenson, in her book Stranger at the Party, remarked on Bumpys short fuse and arrogance. He never learned, however, to curb his temper or to bow his head to any man, She wrote. His negative demeanor led to his spending almost half of his life in prisons before he even reached age 30. During his interments he became an avid reader and began writing poetry. Bumpy also proved to be an incorrigible prisoner and spent one-third of a 10-year sentence in solitary confinement. Because of his attitude, he was shuttled from prison to prison until his release in 1932. When he got out he was broke and looking for work.
Despite his tough-guy reputation, Bumpy Johnson had a soft side. It was common knowledge among Harlemites that he had often helped many of Harlems poor with secret cash donations and gifts. Queenie St. Clair liked what she saw in Bumpy, and offered him a position as henchman in her numbers racket. Always the dandy, looking for better opportunities to make more money, Bumpy joined Queenies ranks and quickly gained her trust. One of his first tasks was to confront the Bub Hewlett gang. It erupted into one of Harlems most violent and bloody gang wars. Eventually, Bumpy gained the edge and defeated Hewlett, temporarily saving the numbers game from the Mobs first takeover attempt.
Lawrence Fishburn played Bumpy Johnson in the movie Hoodlum
The relationship between Queenie and Bumpy was strange from the beginning. Some said they had an ongoing affair and others claimed that the odd couple was only a business partnership. Bumpy never abandoned his pimping and robbery professions, both of which irritated Queenie. Still, it made no difference. Both knew what would make the numbers game a success and began expanding operations. Their expansion efforts did not go unobserved by the powers-at-large.
Lenox Avenue in Harlem, 1927
The housing situation grew worse. Estimates placed more than 5,000 people residing in a single block. Harlem was a severely overcrowded and segregated community, with more than 250,000 citizens crammed into an area 50 blocks long and eight blocks wide. Many of these people had to sleep in shifts. One would return from work to sleep, while another would vacate the bed to go to work. The bed would always remain warm for its next occupant. Many of the Harlemites could barely scrape together enough money to pay rent. This led to what became known as rent parties, which were commonly held on weekends to raise enough money to pay the landlord. If the rent was not paid by Sunday, the tenant would find their belongings thrown out on the streets.
Times were hard for black people, not only in Harlem but throughout the nation. Race riots and labor riots were erupting everywhere. Racism was the rule and malcontent was the order of the day. In the midst of these conflicts, the nation was entering into the throes of Prohibition. On January 20, 1920, Congress passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, banning the sale of alcoholic beverages. Harlem establishments that depended on the sale of alcohol were forced out of business, as were others across the nation. These disrupting events marked the beginning of the Roaring Twenties.
Sorry I gotta habit of ignoring your points! Exucse me, too much BS too me, im high!