Made famous by Martin Scorcese s film Goodfellas, Jimmy "The Gent" Burke was one of the most prolific mob earners in New York history. But after the success of the infamous Lufthansa Heist, Burke unleashed a wave of murders that rocked New York City, and led to his downfall.
This episode focuses on the gangster of suburbia who led a double life, Alejandro Corredor. He seemed like an average family man living in the small town of Fairway, Kansas. But in his other life, he was Kansas City's cocaine pipeline, moving massive shipments from Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel. With the money from drugs, he invested in a local gangsta rap group called Block Life. Eventually, several members of Block Life helped him sell drugs to some of the most notorious gangs in Kansas City. As the money from drugs and the success of Block Life grew, Alejandro strove to keep a balance between his two worlds. But his dealings with the Sinaloa Cartel led him down a dangerous path that would threaten to destroy everything.
In a decade long criminal run, the Cutt Boyz used violence to control the drug trade within the B.W. Cooper Housing Complex in New Orleans. Washington became the main supplier of Heroin, while Benjamin grew his murderous reputation as a main enforcer and was eventually responsible for three murders. Following a unique investigation approach, federal authorities indicted 11 Cutt Boyz under the RICO statutes for narcotics distribution and murder. But federal authorities weren't prepared for Hurricane Katrina's catastrophic destruction in 2005, which damaged evidence and displaced witnesses. Ultimately, they were able to piece together the case and successfully convicted all 11 Cutt Boyz. Washington received a 20-year sentence, while Benjamin will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
From film to television to the stage, African-American actors have been credited with a wide range of acclaimed and pioneering cinematic works, including Malcolm X, The Last King of Scotland, Remember the Titans, Training Day, Man on Fire, Ali and Ray. Explore our collection of famous black actors, including Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Forest Whitaker, Jamie Foxx, Will Smith and Richard Pryor.
They've made us laugh. They've made us cry. They've made us nostalgic, and they've even made us vengeful. They're among Hollywood's most famous black actresses, appearing in classic films like The Color Purple, Poetic Justice, Soul Food, Dreamgirls and The Help, as well as on television and on the stage. Explore our collection of famous black actresses, including Halle Berry, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne and Angela Bassett.
From the early comedy of Nipsey Russell, Richard Pryor and Bill Cosby to the contemporary routines of Steve Harvey, Mo'Nique, Chris Rock, Wanda Sykes and Dave Chappelle, black comedians have often used their wit to become the voice and face of the African-American experience. These legendary comedians have also set a very high bar—not only for African Americans, but for all comics trying to make it in show business. Learn more about these famous jokesters, from their early days to their comic beginnings, to their side-splitting performances and more.
From comedies to history to modern-day dramas, black filmmakers like Tyler Perry, John Singleton, Spike Lee and Gordon Parks have contributed their unique cultural perspectives in Hollywood, and have inspired countless other aspiring black directors and producers to do the same.
Spanning jazz to soul to funk, to more contemporary genres like R&B, rap and pop, African-American musicians are responsible for chart-topping hits like "I Feel Good," "Respect," "Georgia on My Mind," "Let The Good Times Roll," "Good Golly Miss Molly" and "Thriller." Explore our collection of famous black musicians, including Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, B.B. King, Duke Ellington, James Brown, Little Richard, Beyoncé Knowles, and more.
From Whitney Houston's unbelievable vocal range to Michael Jackson's spot-on pitch and unforgettable choreography, these are the famous black singers who, together, have unequivocally defined pop culture for the masses for more than a century. Explore this group to learn more about some of the world's most renowned African-American vocalists, including Josephine Baker, Whitney Houston, Sammy Davis Jr., Aretha Franklin, Beyoncé Knowles, Chuck Berry, Nina Simone, Mary J. Blige, André 3000, Janet Jackson and Gladys Knight.
They are the famous African-American writers who have fearlessly examined cultural stigmas, provided intimate life details, presented new ideas and created remarkable fiction through literary works. For their prophetic genius, these men and women have received Pulitzer Prizes, NAACP awards and even Nobel Prizes, among other honors. Our list of prominent African-American authors includes Toni Morrison, who has detailed the lives of black characters who struggle with identity amidst racism and hostility; Langston Hughes, a founder of the Harlem Renaissance; and Maya Angelou, who has eloquently chronicled various eras of her life through her autobiographies.