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Black Brothers Inc. - The Violent Rise and Fall of Philadelphia's Black Mafia

by Sean Patrick Griffin

The Black Mafia is one of the bloodiest crime syndicates in the modern US history. From its roots in Philadelphia’s ghettos in the 1960s, it grew from a rabble of street toughs to a disciplined, ruthless organization based on fear and intimidation, known in its “legitimate” guise as Black Brothers, Inc., it held regular, minuted meetings, appointed investigators, treasures and enforcers, and controlled drug dealing, loansharking, numbers rackets, armed robbery and extortion.

Its ferocious crew of gunmen grew around burly founder Sam Christian, the most feared man on Philly’s streets. They developed close ties with the influential Nation of Islam and soon were executing rivals, extorting bookies connected to the city’s powerful Cosa Nostra crew, and cowing local gangs. Police say the Black Mafia was responsible for more than forty killings, the most chilling being the massacre of two adults and five children in a feud between rival religious factions. Despite the arrests that followed, they continued their rampage, exploiting ties to prominent lawyers and civil rights leaders. A heavy round of convictions and jail sentences eventually shattered their strength – only for the crack-dealing Junior Black Mafia to emerge in their wake.

Author Sean Griffin, a former Philadelphia police officer turned university professor, conducted scores of interviews and gained unique access to informant logs, witness statements, wiretaps and secret FBI files to make Black Brothers, Inc. the most detailed account ever of an African-American organized crime mob, and a landmark investigation into the modern urban underworld.

Price: $14.95 [Book - Paperback]

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