This episode features Dana Bostic and his Chicago gang, The New Breeds. Bostic, known as "Bird," came of age on Chicago's tough west side. He grew up slinging drugs on the corner and ended up a heroin kingpin in his hometown. With a connection to a Mexican cartel, Bostic's New Breeds would package and distribute heroin and defend their turf with violence. When the body count started to rise, Bird and the New Breeds were taken down. They are all serving significant sentences in prison.
This episode explores the gangland matriarch Maria "Chata" Leon and the criminal underworld created by her murderous brood of gangbanger children. Leaders of the Drew Street Clique of the Avenues Gang, this family ruled a small pocket of Los Angeles for decades. By way of slinging crack cocaine and methamphetamine Maria Leon accrued a great amount of wealth but her status in the hood dwarfed any financial gain she could earn. With an air of invincibility, Maria Leon commanded a reign of terror in L.A. only to be brought to justice by vast federal RICO indictments and multiple military style police invasions into her neighborhood. Maria now awaits her third deportation in federal prison in California.
Born in California on January 25, 1938, Etta James was a gospel prodigy. In 1954, she moved to Los Angeles to record. Her career began to soar by 1960 and she earned a Grammy nod for her 1973 album. She died in California in 2012.
Born in Los Angeles, California, on January 25, 1938, Etta James was a gospel prodigy. In 1954, she moved to Los Angeles to record "The Wallflower." Her career had begun to soar by 1960, due in no small part to songs like "I'd Rather Go Blind" and "At Last." Despite her continued drug problems, she earned a Grammy Award nomination for her 1973 eponymous album. In 2006, she released the album All the Way. James died in Riverside, California, on January 20, 2012, and continues to be considered one of the most dynamic singers in music.
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Who can forget Angela Bassett as Tina Turner or Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles? Do you remember who played Billie Holiday? Or who Beyoncé performed as in the film Cadillac Records? More recent African-American biopics include the Lifetime original movie Betty & Coretta (2013), starring Angela Bassett as Coretta Scott King and Mary J. Blige as Betty Shabazz, and The Butler (2013), starring Forest Whitaker and based on the life of Eugene Allen.
View our photos of African-American biopics to compare these famous figures to the actors and actresses who have portrayed them.
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In entertainment, where the line between fiction and reality is often blurry, names are a crucial part of a celebrity's image. Stage names are often chosen to make an actor or musician's name easier to pronounce or remember, or simply to make it sounds more attractive. Here are famous celebrities who have changed their names.
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Soul Train Guests
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presented by Soul Train Guests