Some call it the numbers racket but true believers call it policy banking because the numbers games provide much needed cash flow for economic life in 1920s Harlem. Numbers kings abound, but there is only one Queen, Madame Stephanie St. Clair, a French Caribbean-born self-made black woman.
In the fall of in 1929, New York City police who’ve long taken a cut from the numbers queen, raid her house, rob, and arrest her to send a message. With the police pummeling her on one side and mobster Dutch Schultz, who has been eyeing St. Clair’s rising power and wealth pouncing on the other, most people assume Stephanie St. Clair will wave the white flag and bow out. But Madame St. Clair always fights back.
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