Archives for : BOOKS

Rosie Perez:Unpredictable Life

 

10516796_10152578201348028_831520379711070104_n

 

 

Unpredictable Life: How I Survived Sister Renata and My Crazy Mother, and Still Came Out Smiling (with Great Hair).

Sheila E.’s “The Beat of My Own Drum: A Memoir”

 

10482858_818443351501411_7220541911690534323_n

In less than 2 months Sheila E.’s “The Beat of My Own Drum: A Memoir” Pre-Order your Digital or Physical copy before September 2nd at the following retailers:
Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1476714940?

Billy Idol:”Dancing With Myself,”

 

 

10313812_651158938287670_2132438013993430617_n

 

Billy will release his self-written memoir, “Dancing With Myself,” on October 7th 2014 The book is bold, searingly candid, and written by Idol himself in his inimitable voice.

Pre-order the book here: http://smarturl.it/dancingwithmyself

Stay tuned for news on Billy’s return to the studio and continued touring in coming weeks!

Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928- May 28, 2014)

10313043_10203755870407494_5767365487121672775_n
Poet Maya Angelou dies at age 86Maya Angelou, a renowned poet, novelist and actress whose work defied description under a simple label, has died, her literary agent, Helen Brann, said Wednesday.
She died at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Brann said.

A professor, singer and dancer, Angelou’s work spans several professions. In 2011, President Barack Obama awarded her with the Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor.
She spent her early years studying dance and drama in San Francisco, but dropped out at age 14, instead becoming the city’s first African-American female cable car conductor.
Angelou later returned to high school to finish her diploma and gave birth a few weeks after graduation. While the 17-year-old single mother waited tables to support her son, she acquired a passion for music and dance, and toured Europe in
the mid-1950s in the opera production “Porgy and Bess.” In 1957, she recorded her first album, “Calypso Lady.” In 1958, Angelou become a part of the Harlem Writers Guild in New York and also played a queen in “The Blacks,” an off-Broadway production by French dramatist Jean Genet.
Affectionately referred to as Dr. Angelou, the professor never went to college. She has more than 30 honorary degrees and taught American studies for years at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem.
“I created myself,” she has said. “I have taught myself so much.”
Angelou was born April 4, 1928, in St. Louis, Missouri. She grew up between St. Louis and the then-racially-segregated town of Stamps, Arkansas.
The famous poet got into writing after a childhood tragedy that stunned her into silence for years. When she was 7, her mother’s boyfriend raped her. He was later beaten to death by a mob after she testified against him.
“My 7-and-a-half-year-old logic deduced that my voice had killed him, so I stopped speaking for almost six years,” she said. From the silence, a louder voice was born.
Her list of friends is as impressive as her illustrious career. Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey referred to her as “sister friend.” She counted Martin Luther King Jr., with whom she worked during the Civil Rights movement, among her friends. King was assassinated on her birthday.
Angelou spoke at least six languages, and worked at one time as a newspaper editor in Egypt and Ghana. During that period, she wrote “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” launching the first in a series of autobiographical books.
“I want to write so well that a person is 30 or 40 pages in a book of mine … before she realizes she’s reading,” Angelou said.
She was also one of the first black women film directors. Her work on Broadway has been nominated for Tony Awards.
Before making it big, the 6-foot-tall wordsmith also worked as a cook and sang with a traveling road show. “Look where we’ve all come from … coming out of darkness, moving toward the light,” she once said. “It is a long journey, but a sweet one, bittersweet.”

Angela Y. Davis:Women, Race, & Class

 

 

Women, Race, & Class By Angela A. Davis

Women, Race, & Class By Angela A. Davis

Longtime activist, author and political figure Angela Davis brings us this expose of the women’s movement in the context of the fight for civil rights and working class issues. She uncovers a side of the fight for suffrage many of us have not heard: the intimate tie between the anti-slavery campaign and the struggle for women’s suffrage. She shows how the racist and classist bias of some in the women’s movement have divided its own membership. Davis’ message is clear: If we ever want equality, we’re gonna have to fight for it together.

Liz Renay: Mob Girl

 

k2dve55yw5hf2kv5

Liz Renay, née Pearl Elizabeth Dobbins (April 14, 1926 – January 22, 2007) was an American author, actress and convicted felon, who appeared in John Waters‘ film Desperate Living (1977).
She was born Pearl Elizabeth Dobbins on April 16, 1926 in Chandler, Arizona to “evangelical parents.”

Liz Renay’s extraordinary life could almost be a movie script. Raised by fanatically religious parents, she ran away from home to win a Marilyn Monroe lookalike contest, and become a showgirl during World War II. She eventually became a “moll” to Los Angeles gangster Mickey Cohen, and when he was arrested she refused to co-operate with the authorities and was sentenced to three years in Terminal Island prison, where she wrote her autobiography. On release she became a stripper and self-publicist, performing the first mother-and-daughter strip and the first grandmother to streak down Hollywood Boulevard.

Raised in Arizona by strict evangelical Christian parents, she ran away from home at age 13 and hitchhiked to Las Vegas. She re-entered a Marilyn Monroe lookalike contest and won.

Her talent and obsession for self-promotion continued almost until the end of her life. She first came to notice in 1950 when her antics on a film set in Phoenix earned her a five-page picture spread in Life magazine.
Appeared as a contestant on the Groucho Marx quiz show You Bet Your Life (1950), but the episode was never aired due to her involvement with L.A. mobster Mickey Cohen, then under criminal investigation

Renay was mobster Mickey Cohen‘s girlfriend. Renay was convicted of perjury and served 27 months at Terminal Island.
In her book, My First 2,000 Men, she claimed flings with Joe DiMaggio, Regis Philbin, and Cary Grant among many other male celebrities. She and her daughter, Brenda, toured with a striptease act. The act ended when Brenda committed suicide on her 39th birthday in 1982.

Renay’s other books include My Face for the World to See and Staying Young (Lyle Stuart, 1982). My Face for the World to See was reissued in 2002, headlined “A Cult Classic,” with a foreword by John Waters. Waters integrated the title into the dialogue of his film Female Trouble (1974), prior to working on his film Desperate Living with Renay.

Renay died at age 80yrs old  on January 22, 2007, in her adopted hometown of Las Vegas, Nevada, from cardiac arrest and gastric bleeding. She was survived by a son, John McLain, from her second marriage.

Liz was married a total of seven times, being divorced five times and widowed twice. She had at least two children: Brenda, and John McLain

Manchild: In The Promised Land

1549307_10203436801350967_6114359166925514057_n
Manchild in the Promised Land is indeed one of the most remarkable autobiographies of our time. This thinly fictionalized account of Claude Brown’s childhood as a hardened, streetwise criminal trying to survive the toughest streets of Harlem has been heralded as the definitive account of everyday life for the first generation of African Americans raised in the Northern ghettos of the 1940s and 1950s.
When the book was first published in 1965, it was praised for its realistic portrayal of Harlem — the children, young people, hardworking parents; the hustlers, drug dealers, prostitutes, and numbers runners; the police; the violence, sex, and humor. The book continues to resonate generations later, not only because of its fierce and dignified anger, not only because the struggles of urban youth are as deeply felt today as they were in Brown’s time, but also because the book is affirmative and inspiring. Here is the story about the one who “made it,” the boy who kept landing on his feet and became a man.

The Warmth of Other Suns by: Isabel Wilkerson

thDC1E2H5X

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson “From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.

With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.

Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work.

Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic.”

Angela Stanton: The Truth!

angela

In an official statement Stanton wrote:

“In 2012, I released my personal memoir, Lies of a Real Housewife: Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil. In the book, I detailed the struggles I faced as a young woman drawn to the temptations of crime and the false glamour it affords. I alone am responsible for the mistakes I made as a young woman. Yet, I have felt a certain sense of anger toward the people who used me during that period of my life. Certain individuals found me at a time when I was vulnerable and searching for friendship, and used those traits to lure me into doing their bidding.

I read with sadness the news that Phaedra Parks’ husband, Apollo Nida, was arrested for alleged schemes that are remarkably similar to those that lured me years ago. I was troubled to learn that the alleged crimes involved the use of a vulnerable woman to carry out the schemes. The story is all too familiar to me. I sincerely hope that Ms. Parks has not been part of his alleged crimes. I hope that she, like I, learned from her mistakes.

Although tragic, the news of Apollo’s arrest has been vindicating for me. Since I published my book, Phaedra Parks has used her wealth and influence in an attempt to silence me. She filed lawsuits against my publisher, and threatened them with years of expensive litigation if they did not cease publication of my book. As a result, I lost nearly all the royalties I was owed. Ms. Parks used her influence in the media to discredit my story and smear my name, casting me as a delusional liar on the pages of popular blogs. After going to prison and losing everything, my story was all I had left, and she took that from me.

IDLEWILD: THE BLACK EDEN OF MICHIGAN

9780870138041_p0_v1_s260x420

 

Some of the venues on the Chitlin’ Circuit were the Cotton Club  and Apollo Theaters in New York City, Regal Theatre in Chicago, Howard  Theatre in Washington, D.C., Fox Theater in Detroit and the Uptown  Theatre in Philadelphia, and a bunch of 1 night stand places in the  middle. A lot of these acts played Idlewild to incorporate some  relaxation along with work. Many of these fabulously talented artists started on the  chitlin’ circuit, including Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Ella  Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Etta James, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Dorothy  Dandridge, Sammy Davis Jr., Ray Charles, .

The Supremes, Moms Mabley, Ike and Tina Turner ,George Benson, B.B. King, Richard Pryor, Muddy Waters, Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson, Redd Foxx, Patti LaBelle, Jimi Hendrix, Gladys Knight & the Pips, The  Temptations, John Lee Hooker, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, The Isley  Brothers, and The Four Tops.

( The dancers were love with Otis) And a Motortown Revue Dancer named Donna Dixon….I met Donna on the phone as she called into me for tech support a few years ago. It was just before the holidays and we struck up a long conversation as I fixed her computer problems. Donna was a backup dancer for the Funk Brother’s band.

They were the massively talented studio musicians that created the “Motown Sound” See a bit of their movie:Standing in the Shadows of Motown The touring company of acts from Motown were called the Motor Town Revue.

Idlewild became known as the “Black Eden of Michigan”. As this new black intelligentsia began to settle in the community, some relocated as activists and members of Marcus Mosiah Garvey‘s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), some as followers of Du Bois’ National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), others as believers of the late Booker T. Washington‘s political machine, and others as potential investors. For the majority of these professionals who brought their families, the idea of land ownership conveyed black social status and membership in this community.

Idlewild gained national stature among African Americans during the period between the World Wars. For example, the Idlewild Land Owners Association had members from over thirty-four states in the country. In addition, the Purple Palace, Paradise Clubhouse, Idlewild Clubhouse, Rosanna Tavern, and Pearl’s Bar provided summer entertainment for tourists and employment opportunities for seasonal and year-round residents in the community. The Pere Marquette Railroad built a branch line to the area by 1923. A post office opened that same year. The Idlewild Fire Department was established, and a host of new entrepreneurs began entering the community. Paradise Palace became McKnight’s Convalescent Home.

Following World War II, Idlewild attracted what some sociologists have labeled the new African American “working” middle class. With the construction of a few paved roads in Idlewild, a reinvestment in the township’s only post office, and greater availability of electricity, a new generation of entrepreneurs began to invest in Idlewild. Phil Giles, Arthur “Big Daddy” Braggs, and a host of other African American businessmen and women took advantage of the market by purchasing property on Williams Island and Paradise Gardens, and began developing these areas into an elaborate nightspot and business center. The cottage started by Albert Cleage in the 1940s was expanded by his sons Louis, Hugh, and Henry.

Many African American entertainers of the period performed in Idlewild. Della Reese, Al Hibbler, Bill Doggett, Jackie Wilson, T-Bone Walker, George Kirby, The Four Tops, Roy Hamilton, Brook Benton, Choker Campbell, Lottie “the Body” Graves, the Rhythm Kings, Sarah Vaughan, Cab Calloway, Louis Armstrong, Dinah Washington, B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Fats Waller, and Billy Eckstein, and many other performers, entertained both Idlewilders and white citizens in neighboring Lake County townships throughout the 1950s and early 1960s.

Arthur Braggs produced singers, dancers, showgirls, and entertainers, which helped Idlewild to become the “Summer Apollo of Michigan”. Braggs produced the famous “Arthur Braggs Idlewild Revue” which not only performed in Idlewild but was also taken on the road to Montreal, Boston, Kansas City, Chicago, New York, and other cities. Braggs’ show helped Idlewild become a major entertainment center and contributed to the financial prosperity of the area

Donna told me all the gossip “on the road”with the famous groups.She also sadly told me then how Levi Stubbs had just had a large stroke and was wheel chair bound. He would never perform again. Donna suggested I read a book that mentioned her and Donna’s picture is in it twice! The book was written by Dr. Ronald J Stephens an acclaimed expert on African American History at several large universities. It was a fascinating hour long conversation with a woman thathas lived a fascinating life in Detroit. She is still as as sparkling as her costumes were back then

Anala Beevers: Baby Genius!

baby

4-year-old Anala Beevers has an IQ of 145.  Anala — who learned the alphabet when she was only 4 months old, her parents say — has an IQ over 145. The New Orleans toddler recently was invited to join Mensa, the high-IQ society for people wh…o score at the 98th percentile or higher on the standardized intelligence test. Anala is in the 99th percentile.

Anala loves geography, knows the location of every U.S. state and the names of their capitals. She even carries a map of America everywhere she goes.

“She needs a reality show,” her father, Landon Beevers, told People magazine. “She keeps us on our toes.” She also knows she’s smart.  “Really smart,” Anala says.

Her mother, Sabrina Beevers, says Anala is constantly correcting the family’s grammar.

“She’s a handful,” Landon Beevers said. “I’ll tell you, she’s a handful.”

Anala is not the youngest Mensa member. In June, Adam Kirby, a 2-year-old from London, became the youngest boy ever to join Mensa, according to the Digital Journal. Emmelyn Roettger, a 2-year-old from Washington, D.C., joined last year, becoming the youngest U.S. member.

By Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News July 30, 2013See More

Jody Wately: Dance Queen!

1428_10151783719718842_51587540_n

 

DISCO FABULOUS!! “Nightlife”: The single will enter Music Week Urban charts at #20 next week (UK), serviced to US club DJ’s today. Get more updates at my site  http://www.jodywatley.net/ You can also pre-order “Nightlife” Remixed at iTunes NOW! Jody Watley  Disco Glam Photography: Albert Sanchez Make-up by Billy B. Hair: Windmachine  #JodyWatley #NewMusic #Nightlife

Thomas Keith Debarge:byThere’ll Never Be, A Story of Forgiveness

9780981736211_p0_v1_s600

 

DeBarge – songwriter, singer, and eldest brother of the music industry’s DeBarge family. Thomas “Tommy” DeBarge once saw the sky as the limit. As part of Motown’s hot funk and soul band era, Thomas felt life would be good for him there on out. A prideful turning away from God’s principles changed his dreams into a nightmare. Poverty and addiction were in the pot at the end of his rainbow. Now, Thomas is a man recovering from the decisions he made. He learned, through the process of people entering and exiting his heart at various stages of growth, that the road of sobriety was one he had to walk alone; just him and God.

 

Darcel Wynn Leonard

darcelglowingA compelling story of love, dreams, hopes, religion, betrayal, abuse, living on the edge and her incredible comeback.”

Beauty, talent, star of hit TV show “Solid Gold” and   married to a legendary Temptation. Darcel danced her  way  into our homes every Saturday afternoon for four  seasons  between 1980 and 1986. We idolized her, we  tried to move  like her and groove like her. She made sexy  look easy,  wonderful, fabulous…but behind that shining  star  everything that glittered wasn’t solid gold.

“…when I pulled into the subterranean parking  structure of  my house and got out of the car, one guy  grabbed me  around my neck, held a knife to my throat and  demanded  my wallet…”

“Darcel Solid  Gold”  written by Darcel with Dr. Claiborne

As dynamic, powerful and captivating as she was on  screen  this is her real life story.

Bobby ” Blue” Bland: SOUL OF THE MAN

SOUL OF THE MAN

 

Bobby “Blue” Bland’s silky smooth vocal style and captivating live performances helped propel the blues out of Delta juke joints and into urban clubs and upscale theaters. Until now, his story has never been told in a book-length biography.

Soul of the Man: Bobby “Blue” Bland relates how Bland, along with longtime friend B. B. King, and other members of the loosely knit group who called themselves the Beale Streeters, forged a new electrified blues style in Memphis in the early 1950s.

 

Combining elements of Delta blues, southern gospel, big-band jazz, and country and western music, Bland and the Beale Streeters were at the heart of a revolution. This biography traces Bland’s life and recording career, from his earliest work through his first big hit in 1957, “Farther Up the Road.” It goes on to tell the story of how Bland scored hit after hit, placing more than sixty songs on the R&B charts throughout the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s.

 

While more than two-thirds of his hits crossed over onto pop charts, Bland is surprisingly not widely known outside the African American community. Nevertheless, many of his recordings are standards, and he has created scores of hit albums such as his classic 1961 Two Steps from the Blues, widely considered one of the best blues albums of all time.

 

Soul of the Man contains a select discography of the most significant recordings made by Bland, as well as a list of all his major awards. A four-time Grammy nominee, he received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the Blues Foundation, as well as the Rhythm & Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Award.

 

He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Blues Foundation’s Hall of Fame. This biography at last heralds one of America’s great music makers.

 

 

Jody ” BabyDol” Gibson: Super Madam!

super madam

When Hollywood madam Jody “Babydol” Gibson was busted eight years ago, word that police had seized her list of celebrity clients stirred intense curiosity in Hollywood — and not a little worry.

The much-anticipated disclosure of famous names never occurred, however. The evidence presented to the jury that convicted Gibson in 2000 of operating an international prostitution ring included phone books and other records in which, prosecutors said, she listed her customers. But authorities blacked out the names in publicly available court records.

Now, their identities are entering the public domain.

In “Secrets of a Hollywood Super Madam,” an autobiography due in bookstores Thursday, Gibson names two dozen celebrities she says patronized her call-girl service.

Many of the names also appear in her phone books, a payment log and other records from the case that have been unsealed by Los Angeles Superior Court and can now be viewed in unredacted form.

A review of the court file shows that Gibson listed actor Bruce Willis; former Dodgers Manager Tom Lasorda; Steve Jones, the Sex Pistols guitarist and KDLE-FM (103.1) radio jock; and the late film producer Don Simpson, among others.

Willis and Lasorda said through their lawyers that they never used Gibson’s service and had no idea why their names appeared in her records. They accused Gibson of exploiting their fame to boost her book sales.

“I have never heard of this woman and don’t know why she would accuse me of something like this,” Lasorda said in a statement issued by his attorney, Tony Capozzola. “But if she prints these lies, I intend to sue.”

Willis’ attorney, Marty Singer, said: “The story is a complete fabrication. [Willis] doesn’t know this woman. He’s never even spoken to her.”

A former lawyer for Simpson said the producer, who died in 1996, never patronized Gibson’s business.

Jones said he might have used Gibson’s escort service. “It’s possible,” he said. “I crossed paths with her back then. She was a madam, but if I remember right, she wanted to be a singer in a band.”

Authorities never prosecuted any of Gibson’s clients, and there is no independent evidence that the men she listed actually patronized her service.

A political figure whose name appears is Ben Barnes, a former lieutenant governor of Texas, who drew attention during the 2004 presidential campaign by saying that he helped a young George W. Bush enter the Air National Guard to avoid the Vietnam-era draft.

 

The Times reached Barnes by calling a cellphone number listed beside his name in Gibson’s records.

“I have never met or talked to this broad in my entire life,” Barnes said. He said he could not explain why his cellphone number was in her files.

Gibson’s “California Dreamin’ ” prostitution ring operated in 16 states and in Europe, employed porn stars and Playboy models, and charged customers as much as $3,000, according to trial testimony.

During her trial, prosecutors introduced her phone books and other records as evidence and called a vice officer to testify about their importance to the case. Police referred to the materials as Gibson’s “trick book.”

At the time, the district attorney’s office successfully fought efforts by The Times and other news organizations to obtain an unredacted version.

Checking court files last week, a reporter found that court officials had unsealed the records once Gibson’s legal appeals were exhausted.

The secrecy that surrounded the “trick book” during the trial prompted accusations that then-Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti was shielding influential Angelenos from embarrassment.

Gibson’s files include two men who were major contributors to Garcetti’s 2000 reelection effort: Maurice Marciano, founder of Guess Inc.; and Steven Roth, producer of “Last Action Hero.”

“This is beyond belief,” Marciano said when asked for comment. “I can’t imagine how my name got mixed up in this. Who is she? That’s a very gutsy lie for someone to tell, don’t you think?”

A reporter reached Roth by calling a cellphone number in the trick book. Told that Gibson had listed him among her clients, Roth said, “Is that right?” and hung up.

Garcetti, now president of the Los Angeles Ethics Commission, said he had “absolutely zero recall of this case.”

Gibson, an aspiring singer who used the nicknames Babydol and Sasha, was convicted of three felony counts of pimping and sentenced to three years in prison. She served 22 months in the Central California Women’s Facility at Chowchilla, a maximum-security prison where she was battered by another inmate. She was released in 2002.

Her autobiography, published by Corona Books, will be available Thursday for downloading, chapter by chapter, at www.supermadamsecrets.com.

chuck.philips@latimes.com

Sam Barbara & Bobby:You, Me, and She

sam and barbaraHere’s more about what Sam’s brothers did to Bobby after he married Barbara Cooke:

Bobby Womack admits in his autobiography “Midnight Mover,” that Sam Cooke’s family had a real problem with him marrying Sam’s widow (Barbara).  Especially, Sam’s brother, Charlie.  He told Womack, shortly after the marriage, “Man, anybody else could have married Sam’s wife, but you.  Sam loved you, man.” If you ever come to Chicago…The threat was left hanging in the air but I knew what it meant.

I figured if Charlie was going to do something, I wanted to get it over and done with. Barbara and I flew to Chicago.  We checked into the ‘Roberts Motel,’ and I called Charlie.  I told him, ‘I’m here.  We’re in 2112.’ In the motel room, Barbara busied herself loading bullets into a pistol.  Barbara had a mean streak in her.

Charlie showed up with his two brothers David and L.C.  I opened the door and Charlie punched me.  He beat me so bad-my whole head swelled up like a melon. My teeth came through my lip.  He beat me unconscious.  He even broke my jaw.  Barbara came out of the bathroom screaming.

She made a grab for the gun, she pointed it and pulled the trigger.  It just clicked (I had removed the bullets while she was in the bathroom, before our guests arrived).  Charlie and his brothers left.  The cops were called, when they arrived and saw my condition, they said Charlie would do time.  They arrested him later that evening but I declined to press charges.  He was released and Barbara and I went on with our lives.

Casper Holstein: Original Gangster

Casper Holstein outside Washington Heights Court.

 

Casper Holstein was a prominent New York philanthropist and mobster involved in the Harlem “numbers rackets” during Prohibition. He, along with several other rivals, most notably Stephanie St. Clair, were responsible for resurrecting illegal gambling in Harlem after several years of inactivity following the conviction of Peter H. Matthews in 1915.

The product of a biracial union, Holstein was born in St. Croix, Danish West Indies. In 1894, he moved with his mother to New York. Holstein spent most of his teenage years attending high school in Brooklyn. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the United States Navy shortly before the Spanish American War. After the war, he held several odd jobs among being positions as a porter and a doorman in Manhattan.  Eventually he worked his way up to become head messenger for a Wall Street brokerage firm.

While working on Wall Street Holstein became familiar with the stock market.  He also began studying the numbers system, an illegal lottery often played by impoverished New York City residents.  Holstein eventually developed his own lottery called Bolito and by 1920, he became known in the New York underworld as the “Bolito King.” By the mid-1920s Holstein reputedly earned more than $2 million from his lotteries.

With this wealth he lived lavishly, owning two Harlem apartment buildings, a Long Island home, a fleet of expensive cars and several thousand acres of Virginia farmland.
Holstein established a Harlem tradition of using some of his illicit earnings to support worthy causes and thus win “goodwill” within the African American community.  He donated some of his earnings to humanitarian enterprises.  He

financed dormitories at Southern black colleges and supplemented the income of a number of Harlem Renaissance artists and supported impoverished Harlem children.  His lottery profits also helped establish a Baptist school in Liberia, create a museum in New York and provided hurricane relief for his native homeland, the Virgin Islands.

By the end of the 1920s, Holstein had become the most significant of Harlem’s numerous powerbrokers. He controlled a massive numbers-running operation, as well as nightclubs and several other legitimate business enterprises. His income was rumored to be as high as $12,000 a day at his peak.  He was, according to the New York Times, “Harlem’s favorite hero, because of his wealth, his sporting proclivities and his philanthropies among the people of his race.”

In 1928, Holstein was taken hostage by five white men who demanded a ransom of $50,000. Three days later he was released. After his release he insisted that no ransom was paid.  No one was arrested and the incident was never explained. However, rumors abounded Holstein’s abduction was orchestrated by New York mobster Dutch Schultz who eventually took control of Harlem gambling scene.

After serving a year in prison for illegal gambling, Holstein “retired” from the numbers racket and spent the remainder of his life supporting various charities.  Casper Holstein died in Harlem on April 5, 1944.

Vanity: Ahead Of Her Time!

chair

Shanae Hall: For Single Ladies Only!

 

 

FSLO-Cover

Filled with 30 tips that will cover any and every dating situation in which a single woman could possibly find herself, this snappy dating guide dares to go where no female author has ever gone before. CBS Radio personality and former NFL wife Shanae Hall calls upon her experience, wisdom, media prowess, and spot-on dating instincts to explore every aspect of dating, from dating as a single mother to dating a married man.

 

Hall explores the things that most women do that drive men crazy (in a bad way!), demonstrates how a mother can protect her kids from heartache while she’s searching for Mr. Right, and outlines the dating playbook, so any woman can master the game. She also unveils must-have sex techniques and even explores the stigma surrounding African American women and oral sex. But perhaps most importantly, Hall teaches women how to respect themselves so that their men will respect them more. Her lesson is built upon the dual philosophy of learning from one’s mistakes and living in reality.

This website content was created with the help of Ultimate Tinymce!

%d bloggers like this: