Godfather of Harlem

The Godfather of Harlem, a series currently on MGM+ and Hulu, is among the best shows on television since The Wire. It’s the story of real-life gangster Bumpy Johnson, played brilliantly by Forrest Whittaker, navigating Harlem in the early sixties (1963-65), between his friend Malcolm X, his sometime ally Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, and the five Italian Mafia families. Nearly all the characters are historical.  Each episode, especially in the first two seasons, is finely crafted with parallel plots between the Mafia families, Bumpy’s family, and Malcolm’s family. The episodes are often centered around historical events, like the 1963 March […]