By Ron Wynn

NASHVILLE, TN — It’s taken longer than anticipated due to production schedule changes forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, but a date has finally been announced for the second season of EPIX’s “Godfather of Harlem” series starring Forest Whitaker. The network has just issued a new trailer that’s available on the Shadow and Act website for the series that’s rooted in history, but does take some liberties with both character and events. The new season gets underway April 18.

The network also released a content statement that summarizes planned developments for the second year. The summary says 

“Godfather of Harlem Season 2” finds Bumpy Johnson battling the New York Crime Families for control of the lucrative and murderous “French Connection,” the pipeline for heroin that runs from Marseilles to New York Harbor.”

“With a distribution syndicate that includes black crime bosses from other major U.S. cities, Bumpy takes a cue from his friend Malcolm X’s message of black economic nationalism. His ambitious plan will face challenges from not only the Italians but his wife Mayme, daughter Elise, rival Adam Clayton Powell, prosecutor Robert Morgenthau, and even Malcolm himself.  Once again, “Godfather of Harlem” explores the collision of the criminal underworld and civil rights in the colorful, tumultuous year of 1964.”

An impressive list of cast members returning for the second year along with Whitaker includes Vincent D’Onofrio, lfenesh Hadera, Nigél Thatch, Giancarlo Esposito, Lucy Fry, Rafi Gavron and Antoinette Crowe-Legacy. In addition,  Erik LaRay Harvey and Demi Singleton (King Richard) are now series regulars for the second season.  

“Godfather of Harlem” is based on the exploits of  crime boss Bumpy Johnson (Forest Whitaker). During the early ‘60s, Johnson returned from eleven years in prison to find the neighborhood he once ruled in shambles.  With the streets controlled by the Italian mob, Johnson confronts the Genovese crime family to regain control. During the brutal battle, he forms an alliance with radical preacher Malcolm X. The series also depicts Malcolm X’s political rise in the crosshairs of social upheaval and a mob war that threatens to tear the city apart.