Black Gangsters of Chicago by Ron Chepesiuk

By Ron Chepesiuk

Chicago has lengthy been a haven of geared up from, domestic to such celebrated figures as Al Capone, fortunate Luciano and Sam Giancana. In Black Gangsters of Chicago, writer Ron Chepesiuk specializes in a lesser identified group,the annals of black geared up crime in Chicago, characters who've had as deep and distinctive a power on equipped crime within the Windy urban. the writer profiles the major gamers within the nation’s biggest black geared up crime inhabitants and lines the murderous evolution of the gangs and rackets that outline Chicago’s violent underworld.

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Was Mushmouth’s philanthropy sincere? “Whether this action was motivated by race pride, a desire to avoid personal embarrassment, class consciousness or a carryover of early religious training, cannot be ascertained,” Gosnell wrote. ” Mushmouth had little formal education, but was savvy politically, and he became known in Chicago’s power circles as a gambling boss who could deliver the black vote. His main goal: to protect his business interests. “When a mayoralty campaign came around, he would give $10,000 to the Democrats and $10,000 to the Republicans, so that no matter who won, he’d be protected,” a friend said.

Jones partnered with other black businessmen and gambling kings to promote civic, cultural, and athletic groups in the black community. For instance, he teamed with Bill Bottoms, the owner of the Dreamland Café, another popular hot spot, to make the all-black American Giants baseball team a commercial success. The two allowed the team to use their establishments for banquets. Henry Teenan Jones was a political force in local black politics until 1917 when, under pressure from the Illinois state’s attorney, he testified against Oscar DePriest, an ambitious and powerful black politician charged with conspiracy to protect gambling.

Still, the Illinois of antebellum America was rigidly segregated. ” When Illinois became a state in 1818, its constitution banned slavery, but allowed indentured servitude for twenty-five years. Blacks had no rights as citizens—they could not vote, serve on juries, or join a militia. But the situation changed after the Civil War. By the mid-1870s, blacks in Illinois could finally vote and attend a desegregated school system. A decade later, the state passed a law banning discrimination in public places.

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