Originally published at The Journalist as HistorianFROM THE BLOG
This is the last notable series of events in the life of Stephanie St. Clair, the Harlem Renaissance’s queen of the criminal underground. Ever the chameleon, by her wedding day St. Clair had already reinvented herself as a French exquisite, then a black Mafia don, and then a civil rights activist. Despite the considerable risks she had undertaken in her quest to carve out her own little Harlem world, St. Clair continued, somehow, to come out on top. Until, that is, she married perhaps the only person in Harlem as enigmatic as herself: Sufi Abdul Hamid.
A Wedding and A Court Case
Three shots rang out in the third floor hall of 309 West 125th St in Harlem, less than a block down from the newly reopened Apollo Theater. It was 3:10 p.m. on Tuesday, January 18, 1938. Outside, the .38 revolver’s booming report most likely lost itself in the chatter of the bustling crowds and the metallic rattle of the Kingsbridge, Broadway and Tenth Avenue streetcars that ran up and down 125th Street, carrying passengers from Manhattan to the Bronx and back. No one who had been outside the office block admitted to hearing the gun go off — not the first, second or third time. But inside, the noise ricocheted off walls and slithered down staircases, looking for a willing host. It found two. With their ears, if not their eyes, elevator operator Clarence Dade and housewife Nettie Roach bore witness. On that otherwise ordinary Tuesday, they heard Stephanie St. Clair shooting her once husband-by-contract, Sufi Abdul Hamid.
It wasn’t a traditional marriage. In July 1936, Stephanie St. Clair, ex-numbers queen, and Sufi Abdul Hamid, black-rights advocate and the head of an Islamic-Buddhist cult, signed a contract binding themselves and stipulated portions of their mutual assets together for 99 years. All of St. Clair’s resources were bound to Hamid. $10,000 of his were placed in trust for her. It was an arrangement that the local Afro-Americannewspaper described as “common in Europe.” Marriages by contract had been going on the continent since the Ottoman Empire. In Harlem, however, such an arrangement was by no means usual.
Standing together at their Manhattan ceremony, St. Clair and Hamid must have painted an intriguing picture. The contract signing was not held in a room packed with friends, family and well-wishers; two witnesses, a minister and notary public made up the entire wedding party. The bride was tall, thin and fair-skinned. The groom was dark, fat and much younger in years and appearance. Her face was finely boned; his round and lush. His eyes were maple syrup; hers anthracite. Both Hamid and St. Clair were flamboyant dressers, though. They regularly robed their bodies in furs and capes, with jewels sparkling at their throats, and they were both fond of turbans. As their relationship grew, so would Hamid’s extravagant facial hair. But he was most likely clean-shaven and baby-faced as he signed his life to her, and she, with her “bold hand,” signed hers to him.
A tenant of St. Clair, Harold Thomas, described the couple’s aesthetic as “mystical.” Certainly, a mystique surrounded the pair. The piece of paper that sealed them together bore pseudonyms, but that was only a surface deception. Most likely, Hamid and St. Clair were ignorant to other key truths about each other at the time of signing. By all accounts, St. Clair continued to say that her birthplace was Marseilles till the end. On his part, Hamid was not a pharaoh. He was not born in “the shadow of a pyramid in Egypt.” Nor was he one of three survivors — two humans, one goat named Jeheddiah — of an African village that the British burned to the ground. And this wasn’t his first marriage.
The paper signed that day wasn’t a legally enforceable contract, but Hamid would claim that it was binding bysharia law.
They had met in June, said St. Clair, when Hamid had come to her to finance a business proposition. He wanted to make a movie. He was refused. Although St. Clair was rich, she had gotten that way from being prudent in her investments. Hamid then attempted to make appointments with her at her home. She turned him away the first time; the second time, she gave in. After that, Hamid kept coming around, sitting in her colorful salon, talking to her of “higher things.” One night, at 11 p.m. and after Hamid had left, St. Clair heard a gentle knocking at her door. It was him again. All hefty 220 pounds of him standing on the doorstep with a question in his eyes. Hamid professed his love for St. Clair in a whisper, his round, prep-school English tones made gruff by emotion. “I fell so much in love with you, I can’t go home. I went as far as 145th Street and couldn’t go further and so I came back. Madame, won’t you marry me?” he asked. The spent the rest of the night together in a yellow room in St. Clair’s apartment. Dawn broke, and she told him that she needed three days to think. As in all things, St. Clair would make the considered choice.
In 1936, St. Clair was in her forties. Around her, women were getting married young. In their late teens and 20′s, most female Harlemites were being courted by male Harlemites with an eye to marrying and settling down. But St. Clair had shown no interest in entertaining suitors before Hamid. The local media was suspicious.
Some journalists hinted that the relationship was a marriage of convenience – although why this would be convenient for St. Clair, who had retired from the numbers game years before with considerable savings – was not made clear. Perhaps these critics were thinking of a 1931 libel lawsuit that St. Clair had leveled against African-American tabloid, The Inter-State Tattler. The Tattler published an article that referred to St. Clair’s “special (female) secretary, a lovely brown-skinned sweetheart.” St. Clair claimed that this was a poorly disguised accusation of “sodomy.” Perhaps the media saw the marriage as a bid for protection in view of the death threats that St. Clair had reportedly received since her attack on the Mafia and their police contacts in the early 1930s. Perhaps they felt it was simply a publicity stunt, or power play: the making of a prominent political couple from two of the most eccentric and outspoken figures in Harlem. Perhaps St. Clair was just trying to buy something she’d never before had – respectability.
Even those who believed that love was at the heart of Hamid and St. Clair’s union viewed the unusual pairing with a degree of ridicule. A columnist of the black-run newspaper New York Age, Ebenezer Ray, wrote a caustic couple of paragraphs on the subject entitled “Cupid Shoots.” The sarcastic capstone to Ray’s article was a quote from English poet Robert Graves:
Come to me, Dear Annie,
while I bind a lover’s knot,
A tale of burning love between a kettle and pot.
The pot was stalwart iron and the kettle sturdy tin.
And though their sides were black with smoke they bubbled bubbled love within.
Ray, who was born in Barbados and who was very proud of his West Indian heritage, “had no tolerance for people who put on airs or misrepresented themselves,” his daughter, Elaine Ray, would later say. She is the current director of communications at Stanford. One can only imagine what he made of the masks of Orientalism put on by each morning by St. Clair and her spouse. The snarkiness was typical of her father, she said. His conservative attitude was typical of the times.
And like the average Harlem male, Ray’s views on women’s rights were not progressive. His wife – who was 20 years younger than her husband and obliged to quit her job as a social worker upon marriage – used to buy her daughters swimming costumes which they were forced to hide from their father because he disapproved of immodesty. There was little chance that St. Clair would have met with the journalist’s approval.
Perhaps, then, Ray’s derision of St. Clair and Hamid’s marriage, rather than trivializing the union, underlined the unusual level of power St. Clair had in her choice of mate. St. Clair was an equal beneficiary in a signed contract of marriage. To men like Ray, the idea was no doubt vaguely threatening. Mockery took the edge off.
In view of the public, St. Clair seemed to be deep in the throws of love with her husband. And the couple had a lot in common, even beyond the potential for a shared wardrobe. Both Hamid and St. Clair inhabited several, self-made, versions of themselves. They both styled themselves as “defenders of their race” – he a soapbox orator, she in the newspapers – whose authority sprung from their invented origins. But they were also both figures of a shadowy underground. Hamid and St. Clair, too, oriented themselves against Jewish nemeses; Hamid earned himself the title “The Black Hitler of Harlem” for his persistent picketing against Jewish businesses in the area. It was also believed that he was one of the inciters of the 1935 Harlem race riot.
Harlem renaissance poet Claude McKay was a staunch defender of Hamid, painting him as a scapegoat of the racist media in his sonnet: “Sufi Abdul Hamid.” To McKay, Hamid was a key figure in the organized defense of the working African-Americans rights. To the NAACP, that “individual who calls himself Sufi Hamid” was just a nuisance. Author Dorothy West would, in a project proposal written seven months after his death, describe Hamid as a man whose “one talent lay in creating mass hysteria.”
Reflecting the violence of the time they lived in, Hamid and St. Clair were both known to be passionate. Their passion occasionally erupted into physical action. Mayme Johnson, the widow of St. Clair’s once bodyguard and right hand man, Bumpy, described how, when St. Clair was angered, she would slip off her high heels and stand head-to-head with her antagonist, preparing to strike on her stockinged feet. The other inhabitants of 445 West 153rd Street, must have become accustomed to Madame’s heavily accented, multilingual tirades and death threats. They might have kept an eye on her window, always prepared to duck and weave, hoping to avoid projectiles when they ventured outside.
In October 1936, a golden-turbaned, velvet-swathed Hamid showed up in court, oiled mustache aglow, to be sentenced to 20 days in prison for stabbing Communist activist Hammie Snipes. If St. Clair had hoped for marriage to be a vehicle for respectability, her own and her husband’s tendency towards the violent was bound to betray that dream.
As far as the papers were concerned, after the wedding, St. Clair and Hamid seemed, with the exception of the stabbing incident, to live quietly as man and wife. According to the Evening Post, now the New York Post, Hamid formally retired from the political limelight when he married St. Clair, concentrating on his religious following. He told radio journalist Roi Ottley that he “had stepped out of the public life.” On August 31, 1937, he opened up his cult to Jewish members, flying in the face of his reputation. It seemed like this was the beginning of a more peaceful time for the couple. So, how did St. Clair end up, less than a year later, standing in an office block pointing a gun at her husband?
The first reported sign of trouble came less than a month before the incident. On December 4, St. Clair made public the contract of her marriage and told The New York Age that she had been separated from Hamid for four weeks. Two weeks later, she denied the separation in the Afro-American. After that, radio silence from the pair. Until a quiet Tuesday in January.
On the afternoon of the shooting, Hamid was visiting the offices of Barbadian lawyer, Horace Iwry Gordon. Hamid said that he’d heard a voice calling his name on the way into the building. Ignoring it, he pushed his 235 pound figure up the stairs to the third floor. In that corridor, he found himself face-to-face with his once-wife. She had snuck in ahead of Hamid while he stopped to talk to a friend on his way. Typically well put together, St. Clair was wearing a knee-length dress, made of shiny silk and decorated with swirls that undulated as she moved. The metallic clasps of her booties and the large bejeweled earrings dangling from each lobe caused her to shimmer like a desert mirage. On her head rested a jaunty fedora with a feather sticking out. But the upcoming trial would focus on her left hand. Was there a revolver resting in her palm, or wasn’t there?
A court case with characters as outspoken as St. Clair and Hamid was bound to be a spectacle. In the weeks before her time in court, like a movie star promoting an upcoming film, St. Clair posed for photos and took interviews with reporters from her room at the art deco Women’s Detention Prison in lower Manhattan. Sometimes she switched stages to the 123rd Street police station. She refused to talk about the events of January 18 – no spoilers – but spent her time weaving a story of spousal abuse. For herself, she vowed she had no murderous intent: “I didn’t want to kill him. I only wanted to scare him. If I’d killed him I would have died.” It was a preview of the arguments that would constitute the basis of her not guilty plea in the courtroom.
Uncharacteristically, Hamid remained out of the spotlight. After a short period of questioning by the police, he retreated to his house in Montgomery, New York. “I’m thankful I’m living,” he’d said to the reporters that accosted him outside the police station. And then he promptly stopped returning their calls.
But St. Clair could put on a show without assistance. By the time the case reached the bench of Judge James G. Wallace (himself a showman, famous for his fine singing voice) and faced the entirely white jury, St. Clair had been making headlines consistently for weeks.
Resplendent in a deep blue cape of velvet with a gold tipped cane, Hamid took the stand to testify. He faced a variety of seemingly simple questions. But for a man who was his own creation, this preliminary exam was its own maze to conquer. All of a sudden, in the theater of the courtroom, Hamid’s performance persona was stripped away and a totally different man was introduced to the public for the first time. This man was Eugene Brown, born in Philadelphia, who’d adopted his Islamic name in 1925. Had he already been married at the time of his contract with St. Clair? He said he might have been. Philip Levey, St. Clair’s attorney, tried to push further, uncover more of the man behind the Sufi. But a pointed interrogation about the reasons for Hamid’s “Black Harlem of Hitler” moniker earned him a $100 fine. Levy, said the judge, was pursuing a line of questioning that was “immaterial.”
Of the events of 18 January, Hamid claimed that St. Clair, gun in hand, had shot at him on sight – three times. One bullet singed his mustache, nicking his teeth, one grazed his arm and burned through his coat, which he held up for all to see, and the other became embedded in the wall. Hamid said he then struggled with St. Clair, wresting the gun from her grip.
The next witness, elevator operator Dade testified that when he heard the boom of the revolver and Hamid yelling “I am shot,” he rushed into the hall. “He’s lying,” St. Claire had told Dade as he came in, “he was shooting at me.” Hamid handed him the revolver and spent the next few minutes subduing his struggling ex-wife until police arrived. For a man of his size, Hamid was known to be nimble. A ballistics specialist was brought in to testify that the gun was at least 18 inches away from Hamid when it went off; there was no gunshot residue on his clothes.
With his testimony, the prosecution rested.
St. Clair had to go through the same rigmarole as her ex-husband. Wearing the same clothes she had on during the shooting, she still faced the process of being stripped bare. It could be hidden any more, she wasn’t French. “Weren’t you convicted of a policy charge in 1929?” asked the prosecution. “I don’t remember,” she said.
The gun, St. Clair argued, was in Hamid’s hand; it belonged to him too. “When I tried to grab the gun from him, he threw me against the wall and bit my finger. It was during the struggle to gain possession of the gun to keep him from killing me that it went off three times,” St. Clair said, her middle fingers bound by a white tape which she removed to show the jury her injuries. Nettie Roach, a resident of St. Clair’s old apartment complex on Sugar Hill, who was visiting young West Indian lawyer Eustace Dench at his office located in the building, bolstered St. Clair’s testimony. Roach claimed that when she came upon the scene after hearing the gunfire, she’d found the revolver in Hamid’s possession. “I’ll shoot you,” she heard him say. Rosa Glover, a nurse at the House of Detention, testified that St. Clair had been treated for puncture wounds by her staff.
But what was the motive?
In the preamble to the court case, St. Clair had argued that Hamid’s motivation for offering marriage was financial. He was, she said, broke and an inveterate gambler. He often bugged her to get involved with sketchy businesses propositions to recoup the losses he made at the tables. And a recent book he had published, A Universal Truth Versus A Universal Lie had failed to sell.
(After the trial was over, Hamid scoffed at these claims, flashing travelers checks around and exclaiming to the press: “Can you imagine that?” in his faux-English accent.)
Hamid, according to St. Clair, was a philanderer too: “I found out about a den at 243, West 30th Street, where he had another woman,” she said. Of all the great indignities she suffered in her marriage, the greatest, in St. Clair’s opinion, seemed to be when one of Hamid’s supposed lovers started syphoning money from her directly – gaining her trust when she was sick, and then borrowing money to buy provisions for St. Clair that never materialized.
The woman in question was Madame Fu Futtam. Fu Futtam, born Dorothy Matthews in Jamaica, was a popular spiritualist with a mystical store in Harlem, who laid claim to ancient Asian ancestry. She lined her eyes with thick black kohl that reached out to the sides of her face to give them an oriental appearance. In her store, packed with mystical objects like globes and herbs, Futtam would host guests – both black and white – and tell their future. By the time of trial, St. Clair, who was more than a decade older than Futtam, was convinced that Hamid and his beloved were conspiring against her. In one particularly vivid description of St. Clair’s relationship with Futtam, she went as far as to suggest that Futtam had been the cause of her sickness, having poisoned her with edible gifts.
Though Hamid denied that an affair took place, some weeks after the trial, Futtam and Hamid would get married, this time legally. In coming up with a motive for the shooting, both the prosecution and the defense would evaluate the role of money and women in St. Clair and Hamid’s relationship. With Hamid, these things seemed to come hand-in-hand.
Hamid had met his previous wife, the Rose of Broadway, when he was 17 and working as a scene-shifter. The Rose was 14 years older than him, and a wealthy mystic who passed as white. Throughout their relationship, he played the part of her butler. It was Rose who created Sufi Abdul Hamid, the name and the backstory. Both aspects of his adopted identity outlasted their creator. As did Rose’s substantial fortune.
Thirty-five-year-old patrolman Frederick Damrau, who made the arrest, was called to the stand by the prosecution to speak to St. Clair’s thoughts as she wielded the gun. Damrau said he’d questioned St. Clair right after the shooting, asking “Why did you shoot your husband?” She had replied: “I got tired of paying.” That’s not how St. Clair remembered it, though. She adamantly denied ever speaking to Damrau or any police staff in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
Six months later, Patrolman Damrau would be indicted for conspiracy and grand larceny, accused of setting up and shaking down Hungarian upholstery manufacturer Harry Slomowitz in 1923, when Slomowitz refused to pay him off. He was not the acme of integrity.
The second witness that spoke to the motive of the crime was Air Force Captain Edison C. McVey, a friend of the couple, and a local celebrity. A handsome man, tall and well-built, McVey was briefly one of the primary heroes of black rights activists across the city. He was a pilot, and, in his twenties, part of a stunt duo with parachutist Hubert Julian. By the time of St. Clair’s trial, though, McVey had faded into obscurity.
McVey made two key points in his testimony: one, that St. Clair had repeatedly threatened Hamid’s life. Two, that Hamid had physically abused his wife, on probably more than one occasion. Before the trial, in one her infamous interviews, St. Clair recounted Hamid threatening to throw her though a window. She said he had slapped her around too, once so hard it broke her earrings. She was afraid, she said in an interview with theThe New York Age, that he would kill her, shave off his bushy beard and make an escape. McVey claimed that it was in his apartment that Hamid had made the threat.
St. Clair seems to have come to McVey’s home either the day before the shooting or three days before, looking for her husband. “I’m going to kill Sufi,” she’d declared. Or maybe it was “Mac, I’m going to kill that zigaboob.” That’s the racial epithet “jigaboo,” with an accent.
It took approximately three hours for the jury to reach its decision. In three hours, her fate was decided by this congregation of mostly white men.
When the jury emerged, it found St. Clair guilty of possession of a deadly weapon and first degree assault. The judge sentenced her to two to ten years at the State Prison for Women in Bedford Hills, N.Y.
With his verdict, Judge Walker admonished her: “This woman has been living by her wits all of her life. She has a bad temper and must learn that she can’t go around shooting at other people.”
What were her last words as she left the courthouse? One news source claimed she laughed her infamously “sinister” laugh, and merrily thanked the judge. Another wrote that she was escorted out the room, stealing a baleful glance at McVey and hissing, “you louse.” One article claimed she said, with dramatic aplomb, “He done me wrong and he’ll get his just desserts.” Yet another wrote that she simply blew a kiss.
For the biggest black newspaper of the time, The Amsterdam News, the moral of the story was summed up in a think-piece called “Can a woman be trusted with important secrets?” published in August 1938. Reviewing the case, author Julius J. Adams helpfully commented: “Women, as a rule, will do the thing that eases the situation of the moment, which all too often, highly complicated future events. When these new complications become evident, they are sorry.”
Perhaps, stuck at Bedford for the next decade of her life, St. Clair was sorry. But, then again, perhaps not. Perhaps, instead, St. Clair’s estimation of her own character proved true: “Don’t everybody know I ain’t scared of nothing?”
Archival and Unpublished Materials
Lee Moon, Henry. Policy Queen. 1933. MS. Schomburg Library, New York. Microform. Federal Writers Project
NAACP, Walter. Letter to Arthur B. Spingarn. 3 Nov. 1934. August Meiers Papers. Box 17. Folder 93. Schomburg Library. Telegram Copies.
Nugent, Richard Bruce. “Sufi (Sufi Abdul Hamid) (The Black Hitler of Harlem)” Federal Writers Project. 1939. Microform. Schomburg Library
Spingarn, Arthur B., letter to Walter NAACP, 16 Nov. 1934. August Meiers Papers. Box 17. Folder 93. Schomburg Library. Telegram Copies.
West, Dorothy. “Portrait of Sufi.” Federal Writers Project 1938: Microform. Schomburg Library
Young, Wilbur. “Activities of Bishop Amiru Al-Mu-Minin Sufi A. Hamid.” Federal Writers Project 1936: Microform. Schomburg Library
Dade, Clarence: Year: 1940; Census Place: New York, New York, ; Roll: T627_2665; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 31-1721.
Dench, Eustace: 1940; Census Place: New York, New York, New York; Roll: T627_2668; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 31-1817.
Elliot, Diana B., Kristy Krivickas, Matthew W. Brault, and Rose M. Kreider. Historical Marriage Trends from 1890- 2010: A Focus on Race Differences. Census.gov. Census.gov, 3 May 2012. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.
Gordon, Howard I: U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Roach, Nettie: Year: 1930; Census Place: Manhattan, New York, New York; Roll: 1576; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0999; Image: 652.0; FHL microfilm: 2341311.
“TARS Third Avenue Railway System.” Www.nycsubway.org. Nycsubway.org, Web. 03 Apr. 2014.
Allison, Jack. “New York Street Scene, Seventh Avenue at West 125th.” 1938. Shorpy Archive, New York. Shorpy.com. Photo. 27 May 2014.
“Bessie Smith and Captain Edison C McVey”: http://oi41.tinypic.com/1gn02a.jpg
Bettman, “Stephanie St. Clair Hamid in Custody” 1938, CorbisImages, New York, CorbisImages.com; April 1, 20014
Historical Images: “Sufi Abdul Hamid” n.d. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nwIpXoJIR98/UNo1mrDzh-I/AAAAAAAAKhg/RC8dYT7sQWw/s1600/sufi+abdul+hamid.jpg
Gado: “Sufi Abdul Hamid and Wife, ” 1938; Getty Images, New York, getty.com. Photo. 24 May 2014.
Silk, George, “Harlem’s Madame Fu Futtam, running a superstitious store.” Time and Life Pictures, May 1, 1940, Getty Images
Sufi Abdul Hamid Gets Ten Days in Workhouse, JTA, January 21, 1935
SUFI AND STEPHANIE, Afro-American (1893-1988); Aug 6, 1938; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988), pg. 3
SUFI HELD SPOT AT WIFES TRIAL, The New York Amsterdam News (1922-1938); Mar 19, 1938; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993) pg. 6
Sufi Jailed on Attack Account, The Afro-American, October 24, 1936, Google Historical Archives, pg. 15
Sufi-St. Clair 99-Yr.Marriage by Contract, Off: Ex-Numbers Queen Declares they Have Been Apart 4 Week, Afro-American (1893-1988); Dec 4, 1937; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988)
SUFI WOOED ST. CLAIR IN “DARKENED ROOM”: ARDENT LOVER CHANGED OVER …The New York Amsterdam News (1922-1938); Jan 29, 1938; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), Historical Newspapers: New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), pg. 15
WAS IT CURSE OF FATHER DIVINE OR DID MADAM ST. CLAIR KILL SUFI?: …
Matthews, Ralph, Afro-American (1893-1988); Aug 6, 1938;
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988)
“2 More Police Held in Shakedown Plots,” New York Times, Aug 28, 1938, FreeRepublic, p. 1
$6,000 BAIL FOR MME. ST. CLAIR: MME. ST. CLAIR JUST WANTED … The New York Amsterdam News (1922-1938); Jan 22, 1938; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993) pg. 1
Baynard Whitney, L. “Paroled “Numbers” Queen Demands $25,000 Damages.” The Inter-State Tattler [New York] 10 Dec. 1931: 2. Print.
Clerk Copies Indictments for Amen, Brooklyn Eagle, October 22, 1938, Fulton History, pg. 3
“Crash Fatal to ‘Harlem Hitler’” Evansville Argus, August 6, 1938: David L Rice Library: University of Southern Indiana
Didn’t Want To Kill Him, The New York Amsterdam News (1922-1938); Jan 22, 1938; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993)
Dottings of a Paragrapher, Ray, Ebenezer,The New York Age; February 5, 1938; Fulton History pg. 6
Minimum Term Now Up for Mme. St. Clair, Afro-American (1893-1988); May 25, 1940; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988)
Harlem Ex-Hitler Seeking Jewish Members for Cult, New York Evening Post, August 31, 1937. Fulton History
“‘…he done her wrong’: Stephanie Puts Finger On Sufi,” Cooke, Marvel; New York Amsterdam News (1938-1941); Oct 28, 1939; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993), pg. 15
Here’s that $10,000 Contract for 99 Years: The Afro-American, Dec 4, 1937; Google Historical Archives: The Afro-American
Identify slayer of policy banker; New York Amsterdam News; Mar 15, 1933. Proquest Online Archive. Pg 1.
Marriage Not Off, Says Mme. Hamid, Afro-American (1893-1988); Dec 18, 1937; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988)
Minimum Term Now Up for Mme. St. Clair, Afro-American (1893-1988); May 25, 1940; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Baltimore Afro-American (1893-1988)
Mme St Clair asks $25,000 from the New York Tattler for Libel, The New York Age, December 12, 1931; Fulton History, pg. 5
MME. ST. CLAIR GETS TEN YEARS: Has Bad Temper, and Lived by Wits; The New York Amsterdam News (1922-1938); Mar 26, 1938; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993)pg. 1
MME. ST. CLAIR ‘GUILTY’: Jail Term For Digit Queen Convicted, The Chicago Defender (National edition) (1921-1967); Mar 19, 1938; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Chicago Defender (1910-1975), pg. 1
MME. SUFI UP FOR SENTENCE: Black Hitler’s Frau Punished, Cooke, Marvel, The New York Amsterdam News (1922-1938); Mar 19, 1938; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993) pg. 1
Policy Ex-Queen Sentenced: New York Herald Tribune (1926-1962); Mar 22, 1938;
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: New York Tribune / Herald Tribune (1841-1962), pg. 27
Should a Man Confide in His Fiancee And Tell Everything?: Can a Woman …. Adams, Julius J, The New York Amsterdam News (1922-1938); Aug 13, 1938; ProQuest Historical Newspapers: New York Amsterdam News (1922-1993) pg. 1
Singing Judge Talk of the Town, New Yorker, June 11, 1949, The New Yorker Archives, pg. 16-17
Literature and Memoirs:
Boyd, Herb, and Katherine Butler Jones. “409 Edgecombe, Baseball and Madame St. Clair.” The Harlem Reader: A Celebration of New York’s Most Famous Neighborhood, from the Renaissance Years to the Twenty-first Century. New York: Three Rivers, 2003. 132-39. Print.
Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson. Philadelphia: Oshun Pub., 2008. 70-84. Print.
The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. “Apollo Theater (theatre, New York City, United States).” Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.
Johnson, Mayme Hatcher., and Karen E. Quinones. Miller. “The Tiger from Marseilles. “Harlem Godfather: The Rap on My Husband, Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson. Philadelphia: Oshun Pub., 2008. 70-84. Print.
Kertzer, David I., and Marzio Barbagli. The History of the European Family. New Haven: Yale UP, 2001. Print.
McKay, Claude, and William J. Maxwell. “Sufi Abdul Hamid.” Complete Poems. Urbana: University of Illinois, 2004. N. pag. Print.
Ottley, Roi, and William J. Weatherby. The Negro in New York; an Informal Social History. New York: New York Public Library, 1967. 119. Print.
Pisano, Dominick. The Airplane in American Culture. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 2003. 126-29. Print
Elaine Ray. Telephone interview. 2 Apr, 2014.
Murray Simon. Telephone interview. 9 March 2014