I must confess I am a fan of of several of HBOs series, especially if they have anything to do with gangsters and most especially if they were of color.

From childhood I have been fascinated with bad men or bad niggers as they were called. I had several uncles that fit the description of being bad niggers and one in particular who was the certified true blue odie real thing. In fact on the front of the program at his funeral it read, Ardell "Ganster Red" Lewis.

I didn't make that trip to Chicago to bury him, my father and two uncles did. I knew it was unlikely of any of them to have that printed and sense they paid for the funeral it had to be their choice. In the end it was a very practical reason.

He had lived in Chicago since the mid 1940s after fleeing Memphis for smashing the face of an abusive cop with half a brick they called alley apples. In big cities people are known by their reps and often those reps come with nick names or street monickers. Often the persons real names are never known but by family or close associates. So that people who know who had expired the put his name and monicker in the obituary and on the program.

By the way I documented his rep through family, friends, Ernest Withers and documents that he was the real thing. This is just an ode to my uncle who called me Big Jack and I was told that as an infant he helped take care of me while my father was in an isolation ward for two years recovering from Tuberculosis.

Now to the meat of the blog. So often we, at least I has been told about how afraid Negroes and Colored people were of so called white folks. If I didn't know any better I would have believed we were all the descendants of slaves and cowards. Not so.

On the HBO series Boardwalk Empire at the fourth season the intro diced a new character named Dr. Valentin Narcissi. He his extremely intelligent and ruthless. He sees himself the equal or better than any man and this character is brilliantly and vividly portrayed by Jeffery Wright.

Doing my research into if such characters, other than Bumpy Johnson, achieved that kind of notoriety and I was surprised to find the real man HBO based their composite on. His name was Casper Holstein. Below is a hyperlink containing just one article I found on him.

I'd be interested on others take, interest for or against on people who decided how their worlds would run even if it meant ignoring the prescribed laws.

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Comment by Clifford Black on November 18, 2013 at 2:32pm

At least someone was paying attention, and the reason most people cannot hear is because they cannot see or hear what they do not know about.


Comment by Aaron (Al) Lewis on November 17, 2013 at 11:45pm
Interesting reading, at least I think so. I class, throughout the years, on occasion Dr. Black would infer, for those that could hear, that maybe, just perhaps the money behind some of the efforts of the social uplifting of the Negro came out of the boodle of Colored Gangsters.

On several movies, most notably The Godfather, Negro gangsters were spoken of as being animals and on others they'd have you think they were subservient to the Sicilian or Irish or Jewish Gangs. What they don't show is that all all gangs have harsh criticisms of their rivals.
The numbers or the lottery, or the wheel, or the policy or even nigger pool was a major employer of colored people. These people held their heads up high and their employers ensured that the dollar turned over in the community.

So the next time you purchase a power ball ticket you can thank men and women of color for evolving their game until it was taken over by the authorities who added the element of Bolita as to how the numbers were chosen.

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