Black Gangs of New York: Leadership

We always hear about the “white” gangs in the United States. The Italians, the Irish, or as a whole when they didn’t get along with their black counterparts “the mafia.

And, not to glorify intimidation, murder, etc. but when we do hear about blacks in the “family” we always refer to movies we see: the Bumpy Johnsons, the Nicky Barneses, the Frank Lucases.

Well what about Ms. Stephanie St. Clair, also called Queen or Queenie. Or Casper Holstein. Prohibition and numbers runners got their start from these two in the early 1900s and some big names got their notoriety from these two.

Both hailing form the Islands and of mixed ancestry (St. Clair being African and French and Holstein being African and Danish)… they came to Harlem and ran numbers and sold booze in a capacity that no other “family” enterprise could come up with.

Ms. St. Clair was played by Cicely Tyson in the movie “Hoodlum.”
Jeffrey Wright plays a character on “Boardwalk Empire” that is loosely based on Casper Holstein.

Wikipedia them. Google them. And if you google Stephanie St. Clair, they have her grave listed on

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