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Friday, October 26, 2007

Speaking Of Frank Lucas....

Is the new movie "American Gangster" taking even more than the normal Hollywood liberties? Reader Cassandra sent over an article of interest involving Frank Lucas and Bumpy Johnson's widow. For those who don't know, Bumpy was Frank Lucas' mentor and was the subject of the Bill Duke directed "Hoodlum", played by Laurence Fishburne. She contends that Frank is a big fat phony, for lack of a better phrase:

Frank Lucas, the dope-dealer portrayed by Denzel Washington in the upcoming movie, American Gangster, is a low-down good-for-nothing liar. This according to someone whom would know -- Mayme Johnson.

Johnson is the 93-year-old widow of the infamous Harlem gangster Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson -- the man whom Lucas says was his mentor and who taught him everything he knows. Lucas goes on to say that he was Bumpy's second-in-command, and that Bumpy died in his arms in 1968.

"Frank wasn't nothing but a flunky, and one that Bumpy never did really trust," says Johnson, author of the upcoming book, Harlem Godfather: The Rap on my Husband, Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson. "Bumpy would let Frank drive him around, but you'd better believe that he was never in any important meetings or anything. Bumpy figured Frank as a liar, and he would say you can trust a thief quicker than a liar, because a thief steals because he needs money, while a liar lies for the hell of it."

Johnson says she was furious when she first found out that Lucas told a magazine writer that Bumpy died in his arms. Lucas, she says, was nowhere around the night that Bumpy died from a heart attack while dining at the famous Wells Restaurant on Seventh Avenue in Harlem. She says Lucas probably thought he could get away with the lie because he figured everyone who was around Bumpy at the time is now dead.

"Junie Byrd's gone, Nat Pettigrew's gone, Sonny Chance is gone, and Finley Hoskin's gone. Frank would never have said any garbage like that if one of them were alive because he'd know they'd come after him," Johnson says. "I bet he thought I was gone, too, but I'm not. I'm 93, and I don't have Alzheimer's or dementia, and I'm not senile. Frank Lucas is a damn liar and I want the world to know it."

Johnson says she thinks it's a shame that Lucas was able to fool Hollywood into believing that he's a bigger shot than he really is, and points out that if he lied about his relationship with Bumpy there's no telling what else he may have lied about in the movie. As far as she's concerned, Johnson states, everything in the movie is now suspect.

"That's why I'm writing this book after all this time," Johnson explains. "There have been legends, myths, and rumors flying around about Bumpy for decades, and I've never spoken to confirm or deny anything -- even when the movie Hoodlum was released in 1997 and contained all kinds of factual errors about the man I loved. You see I never thought the errors were malicious, they just didn't know better. But this . . . well, Frank does know better.

"So now I've finally decided to speak out. To set the record straight. To tell the truth and damn the devil. To let the world know about the real Bumpy Johnson."

From IW: In Frank's defense, even by her own admission Mayme was not the angel she was portrayed as in "Hoodlum" by Vanessa Williams. And whose to say she doesn't have an agenda of her own since, as she says, she and Frank are the only ones who are still around to know? Interesting just the same. If you would like to see the rest of her story, click here.


coloredgirlswhohaveconsidered said...

Yes, I read the excerpt she still sounds like a hoot today. I can only imagine how wild and off the hook she must of been back in the day. I said I was tired of all these ‘gangsta’ films, but I’m gonna have to give her book a read…

MrsGrapevine said...

Who cares, they are all criminals. Is that something to be proud of, being Bumpy's girl?

Obviously, Frank learned something because he's still making himself relevant.

Why speak out now, when he made those comments years ago. Hmmmm, let me guess...oh! Publicity.

These gansters and gansters wives need to sit down and shut up, or go get saved. It's ridiculous fighting over who was better at bringing down the race.

Cassandra said...

I found it interesting that she did not speak up when Hoodlum came out. If she knew their were untruths about her late hubby she should have spoken up then.

As a history buff, I would love to sit down with her and hear her tales.

Invisible Woman said...

@colored girls: it is a bit much @mgv and cassandra: was she quiet cause she got paid from Hoodlum? hmmmm

Bohemian Hippie Chick said...

There's nothing funnier than a salty 93 year old on a mission!

Her book should be interesting.

Invisible Woman said...

That's funny hippie chick!

coloredgirlswhohaveconsidered said...

"Why speak out now, when he made those comments years ago. Hmmmm, let me guess...oh! Publicity."

*in my best Arsenio voice*
things that make you go hmmmm!!!
I think you are on the money...

Invisible Woman said...

girl, she gotta pay for one of dem Harlem/Biggie funerals!

Anonymous said...

No one believes her. She was not around when everything got thick. She was not there when he was at the restaraunt and I am sure she was not the only woman. In one article she said Bumpy didn't let Frank drive in another she said he let him drive but he did not trust Frank. She has no clue what's going on. Frank has made over 300 Million and there are a lot of people who know him and respect him still so where does she come off like she knows it all and she probably knows nothing.

BedStuyBrooklynNY said...

Why would any of you hate on a 93 year old woman , Perhaps she didnt want to smear Frank Lucas name at the time or who knows Maybe she had a change for heart She has 93 years of Wisdom and Knowledge and to top it of I was introduced to her a few days ago and she didnt seem bitter at all . Why would we want to know a little more about our History and Historical Figures , And Frank Lucas wasnt all he painted himself to be yet even he said he will not say anything against what she said, Howllywood is Make Believe adn maybe she enjoyed the Spririt of Bumpy in the Movie Hoodlum so she didnt comment

Chus said...

This is what I think: Frank Lucas