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The Love Story of Bumpy Johnson, the Godfather of Harlem


Ellsworth Raymond “Bumpy” Johnson was a complex and contradictory figure, at once a ruthless gangster and a Robin Hood-esque protector of his Harlem community. Born in 1905, he rose to power during the Prohibition era, running numbers rackets and battling rival gangs for control of Harlem’s lucrative underworld. However, he was also the husband to Mayme Hatcher Johnson, and their marriage provides a glimpse into what a real ride-or-die relationship looked like.


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