Tag Archives: Bumpy Johnson

Madame Queen: Lady Gangster

There are many stories told throughout time and others lost to history. This is the true story of Madame Stephanie St Clair, the Queen Of Harlem; the woman who saved Harlem from the mob. Some called this amazing woman a Harlem Hero I say the greatest story never known!


JUST US!

jail

My message for today comes from a powerful video that you should be sure to WATCH. Every single thing the speaker is saying can be proven without a shadow of a doubt. Just look at the power of the prison lobby and the massive increase in prison population since the 1980’s.

America has MORE prisoners in jail than China or any other country on the planet. How is it possible that we have a higher prison population than China who is extremely oppressive and has four times our total population? The overwhelming proportion of the population are people of color. How can this be when we represent such a small portion of the overall population?

I’m sharing this message with hopes that it is food for thought. Stop dancing to the tomb!!! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


The Apollo Theater Connection

FotoFlexer_PhotoIn the early 70s a new breed of gangsters appeared in the hamlet of Harlem who were very different from the legendary figures of old, such as Madam Queen and Bumpy Johnson. We’ve all heard of Frank Lucas whose power derived from cutting out the middle man and Nicky Barnes who came to be known as “Mr. Untouchable” who established the mafia like “Council”.

There have been books and movies about these guys, deserved or not, but their stature has gained near legendary status. But there was one member of the notorious or so-called Council that is seldom mentioned. He is Guy Fisher who is the only BLACK MAN to own an icon of our culture “The Apollo Theater”. That’s right, the world renowned and legendary Apollo Theater throughout its existence has only been owned by one BLACK MAN. I found this amazing!

Fisher saw his narrow escape from prison as a second lease on life after a case that ended in a huge jury and decided to become a legitimate businessman. In early 1978, using monies he’d earned through the heroin trade, Fisher purchased the crumbling Apollo Theater in Harlem. He placed the deed in his half brother’s name, and began employing members of the neighborhood to help in its rehabilitation. In May of that year, the new Apollo was unveiled to the community, drawing Motown acts such as Gladys Knight, The Temptations, and other legends.

By 1973, at the age of 25, Fisher made it into Barnes’ exclusive underground organization, The Council, which consisted of a seven-member circle of trusted associates. Each of the individual partners in Barnes’ syndicate had their own crew of men to distribute heroin to smaller dealers. They would then collect the drug money, and distribute the profits accordingly. Through these dealings, Barnes and Fisher became close friends and confidantes. They also began investing in businesses together, including two, multi-million dollar housing complexes.

A year later, local police stopped Fisher for a routine traffic violation. Fisher was using a false driver’s license, and attempted to evade arrest by bribing law enforcement agents with $100,000 he had stashed in his trunk. The officials refused the money, and the incident landed Fisher in prison for nine months. While serving his time, The Council was under close investigation by undercover law enforcement agents for their dealings in the heroin trade.

In 1977, sparked by an article in The New York Times magazine naming Barnes “Mr. Untouchable,” then-President Jimmy Carter placed enormous pressure on federal agents to dismantle The Council. That September, Barnes and The Council were placed on trial. Much of the federal law enforcement’s undercover surveillance of Barnes and his group occurred while Fisher was imprisoned.

Because of this fact, Fisher’s lawyer was able to argue that his client did not participate in the conspiracy mentioned in the federal case. This fact led to a hung jury in Fisher’s trial, and he became the only member to escape sentencing. Despite his legitimate success, Fisher resumed the heroin trade as head of The Council with Barnes’ help. But after money for Barnes’ legal fees started to disappear, the former drug kingpin grew resentful of Fisher’s success on the outside. The final straw came when Fisher began an affair with one of Barnes’ girlfriends. Feeling betrayed, Barnes broke the code of The Council and turned informant in the early 80s.

In March of 1983, using information Barnes supplied, federal agents finally gathered enough evidence to put Fisher and several of his associates on trial. He was sentenced to life without parole for his role in running a criminal enterprise, and was sent to Marion Federal Prison in Illinois. While in prison, Fisher wrote several novels, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and began mentoring inmates. In 2008, he completed his Ph.D. in sociology. He continues to serve his life sentence, despite several appeals, at the United States Penitentiary, Tucson in Arizona..

Despite how the ill gotten gains were obtained I wondered how many people knew that we never owned one of the African American community’s most recognizable and distinguished icons. Maybe I’ll just call this a little known fact hidden in black history. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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What if the Tea Party was Black?

thWe have witnessed during the November election the repudiation of the Republican ideas, who I often refer to as the 21st century Citizens Counsel or maybe more appropriate James E. Crow, Esq. lest not forget that there remains a vigilant fringe out there like the Klan that may go away for a while but always resurface. It’s the “Tea Party”!

The “Tea Party” is a reference to the Boston Tea Party, a protest by colonists who objected to a British tax on tea in 1773 and demonstrated by dumping British tea taken from docked ships into the harbor. Some commentators have referred to the Tea in “Tea Party” as the backronym “Taxed Enough Already”.

The Tea Party movement is composed of a loose affiliation of national and local groups that determine their own platforms and agendas without central leadership. The Tea Party movement has been cited as an example of grassroots political activity, although it has also been described as an example of astro-turfing. The Tea Party movement is not a national political party; polls show that most Tea Partiers consider themselves to be Republicansand the movement’s supporters have tended to endorse Republican candidates. Ergo, Klan like in nature!

The purpose of this post is not to educate or empower you on their platform or extreme right-wing agenda. Rather to ask a poignant question. What if the Tea Party was an organization or a group formed by Black people? Or Latino; Or any ethnic group other than those we see participating? I lived though the 60’s and saw groups protesting for basic human rights destroyed and the leaders killed.

When they say, they want to take back their country – most of us can hear what they are not saying. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

You must watch the video and you will get the point.


The Blood Done Signed My Name

About The Book

Are the sins of the father and mother visited upon their sons and daughters?

Undoubtedly damaged, Honey Lamb, like many, is a descendant of an unfortunate legacy of molestation, addiction, murder and bad decisions. For as long as she could remember, she believed the unhappiness she experienced was somehow bequeathed to her. The blood that surged through her veins seemed to be tainted and she often wondered about the DNA she possessed. Experiencing more than her share of misery at the hands of her mother, an alcoholic; the source of all her woes, Honey believed she’d overcome her seemingly checkered path all by herself when she met and married, Mason; a man she loves beyond her own understanding. Unfortunately, unsettling memories emerge to crack the veneer of her seemingly happy existence. Feeling unable to escape what she believed to be her destiny, Honey makes a decision that may have ruined her life. Not realizing God places people in our lives for His purpose, she reluctantly embarks upon a journey that will open her heart to a divine inheritance. Will she accept what God has already given to her or will she shun the invitation of salvation and allow her familial carnal legacy to continue to the next generation? Will she come to understand that Jesus’ blood redeemed us from a self-defeating existence because He became the sinful inheritance for us while at the same time eradicating it forever, giving us a spiritual blood transfusion that would change us all?

About the Author

M. Ann Ricks, (Melissa Ann), is a Christian Fiction novelist residing in Bear, Delaware with her excellent husband and two awesome sons. She is a graduate of Rider University and formerly a national accounts insurance executive.

Using Jesus Christ as her example, as He shared many parables, she creates stories with fictional characters that contend with real life issues and inserts the Word of God to communicate the genuine and unfailing love of God while making it abundantly clear that Jesus is the ONLY answer. M. Ann is determined to tell the world how wonderfully awesome Jesus Christ is and can be in our lives if we just allow Him to be. She is honored to be used by God to spread His message with the stories she creates with the leading of the Holy Spirit, knowing that He will provide her with stories and the words that will lift up the name of Jesus as He promised that if He is lifted up, He will draw all men to Him.

M. Ann is also what one may consider a motivational/inspirational speaker but she prefers the term, “Godspirational” as one may only be truly inspired, transformed and receive true revelation when hearing the uncompromised word of God. M. Ann also continues to utilize her group insurance knowledge as a Benefits and Network Consultant. Lastly, M. Ann is a Group Fitness instructor as she is determined to keep her natural “temple” fit and ready for the Master’s use!

M. Ann is the author of Awesome Wonder: The Gift of Remembrance ,The Son. the much acclaimed, third novel, THE BLOOD DONE SIGNED MY NAME.

PROLOGUE

Northern Italy, 1918

He hadn’t washed in weeks. The countryside was crawling with “Kraut” and all he could do was think about the full lips that said his name with uninhibited desire. She made him feel invincible and he needed to believe he was. He would have done anything to have and to keep her.

Those eyes…

She moved over him like a cunning feline. Under her spell, he promised he would keep her brother Tanner quiet about everything. He had no idea how he was going to silence the man who had become his friend, but he wasn’t going to let anyone ruin their plans. As he walked back to camp after visiting a makeshift latrine, his thoughts took him back to their night together. Intoxicated by cheap wine, he’d agreed to the pact. She was beautiful, strong, and most of all, determined. He wanted to believe that they would have a good life once this useless war was over.

After settling into the muddy trench, he saw something almost imperceptibly move. Italy could have been a beautiful place if it wasn’t for this God forsaken war, he thought, rubbing his eyes. He was unbelievably fatigued; so much so that foliage seemed to be moving by itself. He closedhis eyes and opened them again to focus. Was there someone or something out there? He couldn’t wait until he was back in the U. S. of A. More importantly, he couldn’t wait to be with her. He could still smell her. She was a vision… a sweet temptress.

Author  Websitehttp://www.mannricks.net/default.html

Email: Godsauthor@mannricks.net

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/M-Ann-Ricks-Literary-Creations-Author-Melissa-Ann-Ricks/33259926513

Book Trailerhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1umSjMGuUYI#!

Book Orderinghttp://www.amazon.com/BLOOD-DONE-SIGNED-MY-NAME/dp/0615452736/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1351943201&sr=1-1&keywords=m.ann+ricks

E-Book: http://www.amazon.com/BLOOD-DONE-SIGNED-NAME-ebook/dp/B0091XBCDQ/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1351943201&sr=1-1

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-blood-done-signed-my-name-m-ann-ricks/1111952288?ean=9780615452739

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Legacy – A New Season 

AMAZON

Just a Season


Talk About Hypocrisy

John McCain and Lindsey Graham are on a mission and vocally obsessed leading the charge against U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, claiming that she is unfit to be Secretary of State because of her misstatements on Benghazi. It seems to me that me that these men who should have intelligence would know one thing for certain and that is with the advent of technology – we now have video!

Take a look at what Jon Stewart clipped together reminding these two senators have said and you will see they have any ground to stand on when it comes to judging Rice in the Benghazi matter. In the clip, Stewart not only calls out McCain and Graham for their own misstatements, with arguably greater consequences, but also highlights their hypocrisy on Rice herself, having both previously defended a diplomat in a curiously similar situation.

I have heard it said that an elephant never forgets and we know that is the GOP image, but damn! How soon they forget, which means these guys are just singing the same song and it is to say and do anything to retard the successful progress of our historic, and dare I say great president. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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Legacy – A New Season 

AMAZON

Just a Season


Sojourner Truth: “Ain’t I a Woman?”

Throughout our existence in this place the slaves called “merica”. We’ve have had many dynamic heroines, dare I say, none were more profound that Sojourner Truth. A woman who’s exact date of birth was not recorded. What we do know is in the year 1797, among Dutch immigrants in the region now known as Ulster County, New York, an African child was born on the estate of Colonel Johannes Hardenbergh.

One of 13 children born to Elizabeth and James Baumfree, she was given the name Isabella Baumfree. As the story goes, this name gave her no hint of her mission; years later she renamed herself Sojourner Truth. Her life was a testament to this mission as a truth-teller. In 1851, Sojourner Truth gave her famous “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech before the Women’s Rights Convention held in Akron, Ohio. Several ministers were in attendance. Truth rose from her seat and spoke the following words before the audience:

“Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the White men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman?

Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man – when I could get it – and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what’s this they call it? [member of audience whispers, “intellect”] That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.
Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say.”

She underwent a number of transfers between slave-owners and suffered what she described as cruelties that one dare not imagine against a young African girl child enslaved in America. It is said that while living in the home of Isaac and Maria Van Wagenens, Truth had a life-changing religious experience. She started to speak in public assemblies. She became known as a gifted preacher. She joined the Progressive Friends, an organization established by the Quakers, which pressed forward the cause of abolishing slavery throughout America.

“In 1864, she worked among freed slaves at a government refugee camp on an island in Virginia and was employed by the National Freedman’s Relief Association in Washington, D.C.,” according to Women in History: Living vignettes of notable women from U.S. history. “In 1863, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s article “The Libyan Sibyl” appeared in the Atlantic Monthly; a romanticized description of Sojourner.”

At the end of the Civil War, Truth worked on behalf of the Freedman’s Hospital in Washington through the Freedman’s Relief Association. In 1867, she moved to Battle Creek, Michigan. While unsuccessful in her efforts, for several years she lobbied the U.S. federal government for land in the Western states for former enslaved Africans. Illness began to reduce her speaking tours. In 1879, she spent a year in Kansas City to help settling African migrants she called “Exodusters”. In addition to racial and gender equality issues, Truth campaigned against capital punishment and called for temperance.

On November 26, 1883, Sojourner Truth was surrounded by her family at her death bed. She was 86 years old when she died surrounded by her family in Battle Creek, Michigan. She was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, next to her grandson’s gravesite. More than 200 years later, her legacy as a truth-keeper continues to ignite the imagination of the new nation for which she found herself in service. Sojourner Truth lived during times of great change.

First Lady Michelle Obama said of her at the April 28, 2009 commemorative ceremony unveiling the Sojourner Truth bronze bust. “I hope that Sojourner Truth would be proud to see me, a descendant of slaves, serving as the first lady of the United States of America. Now many young boys and girls, like my own daughters, will come to Emancipation Hall and see the face of a woman who looks like them.”

This is a shoot-out to the ghost and spirit of one of the greatest women to live. And that is my Thought Provoking Perspective…

http://johntwills.com

Legacy – A New Season 

AMAZON

Just a Season


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