Pearl and Markuann at Art Basel for showing of ‘Godfather of Harlem’

It was such an honor to meet Markuann Smith, the executive producer of ‘Godfather of Harlem’ at Art Basel in Dec 2019. Thank you to my acting coach and friend Cedric Pendleton for the invitation.

3 TV Networks passed on the film, before he got the green light to tell a story, which took 18 years to make. Did you hear me …. 18 years to make. As I sat in the audience, at the Art Basel premiere, I had to sit up, to hear this journey.

Sometimes, we get caught up in things happening overnight, yet Mr. Smith, gave me perspective in telling his story.

Markuann’s godmother Margaret, is the grand daughter of the legendary gangster, Ellsworth Raymond ‘Bumby’ Johnson, played by Forest Whitaker. Margaret would often tell young Markuann stories of her grandfather, and he promised her, he would tell the truth about who Bumpy really was through film. Bumpy, an intelligent man, was studying to be an attorney, yet was denied financial aid to pursue his studies, so he took a different route. Bumpy was also a man who read Shakespeare and Nietzche.

As I watched the premiere, the series is set in a background of the 60s, and gives you a look at the major players in Harlem, including Malcolm X. They illustrate how they all intertwined to protect their neighborhood and territory.

The show can be seen on EPIX, YouTube, Google Play, Sling, and Amazon Prime.

Go check it out!…

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