In the 1970's, a group of ruthless Irish punks called the "Westies", managed to terrorize Hell's Kitchen in New York City. They had a penchant for violence and a desire to control the illegal activities on Manhattan's west side. Young Irish thug Jimmy Coonan teamed up with Mickey Featherstone, a Vietnam veteran with a reputation for being a ruthless killer. The "Westies" ruled the streets, protecting their various rackets, including drug dealing and extortion, through extreme violence. They were so powerful they were able to work as contract killers for the Gambino crime family.
Bowman, as international president of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, ordered kidnappings, firebombings, assaults and murders. He joined another exclusive club in 1997, the "FBI Ten Most Wanted" list. Bowman was brought to justice with the help of an informant on the inside of the Outlaw brotherhood.
Tyler Perry made a risky move by trying his hand at film making and creating his first feature film "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," which debuted at No. 1 at the box office.
Tyler Perry made a risky move by trying his hand at filmmaking and creating his first feature film "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," which debuted at No. 1 at the box office.
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From stereotypical roles as maids and cooks to Academy Award-winning performances in blockbuster movies, African-Americans have come a long way in the world of film and TV. Early stars like Sidney Portier and Hattie McDaniel may have been the first actors to win awards for their stellar performances, but modern-day actors such as Denzel Washington and Halle Berry are still breaking new ground as the first African-Americans to win Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globes in certain categories. Learn about the African-American actors who became the first to change the fabric film and TV with their dramatic performances.
African-American Firsts: Film & TV
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