Milo Books

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The Black Mafia is one of the bloodiest crime syndicates in history. From its roots in Philadelphia’s ghettos in the 1960’s, it grew from a rabble of street toughs to a disciplined, ruthless organisation based on fear and intimidation. Known in its “legitimate” guise as Black Brothers Inc, it held regular meetings, appointed investigators, treasurers and enforcers, and controlled drug dealing, loan-sharking, numbers rackets, armed robbery and extortion.

Its ferocious crew of gunmen grew around burly founder Sam Christian, the most feared man on Philly’s streets. They developed close ties with the influential Nation of Islam and soon were executing rivals, extorting bookies connected to the city’s powerful Cosa Nostra crew, and cowing local gangs. Despite the arrests that followed, they continued their rampage, exploiting their ties to prominent lawyers and civil rights leaders. A heavy round of convictions and sentences in the 1980’s shattered their strength – only for the crack-dealing Junior Black Mafia to emerge in their wake.

Author Sean Griffin conducted scores of interviews and gained unique access to informant logs, witness statements, wiretaps and secret FBI files to make Superbad the most detailed account ever of an African-American organized crime mob, and a landmark investigation into the modern urban underworld.

*published in the United States as Black Brothers Inc. (Milo Books)


“A gripping story … Griffin richly documents the Black Mafia’s organization, outreach and over-the-top badness.” Philadelphia Inquirer

“Griffin’s reporting on the Black Mafia and its interaction with law
enforcement, the Nation of Islam and the Italian mob is fascinating.”
Philadelphia Weekly

“A confident chronicle of Philly’s Black Mafia, the decades-long collaborationamong drug dealers, Muslim clerics and local politicians.”
Philadelphia Magazine

“A richly detailed narrative of the murderous history of the city’s first
African-American crime syndicate.” Philadelphia Daily News

“A great, sprawling epic.” Duane Swierczynski, editor-in-chief,
Philadelphia City Paper

“If you’re a crime buff, a history lover, or if you just want something
fascinating to read, it’s a book you can’t refuse.” Terri Schlichenmeyer, syndicated reviewer and host of

“I couldn’t put this book down.” Keith Murphy, award-winning broadcaster and host of the Urban Journal on XM Radio’s The Power

“Sean Patrick Griffin has given us a really extensive look into the Black
Mafia … and has produced one of best pieces of research on the underworld … that I have ever seen.” Elmer Smith, The Exchange, 1340AM WHAT

“The book is incredible … amazing stuff.” Dom Giordano, radio host,

“Sean Patrick Griffin, in surreal detail, lays out the twist and turns, the political and religious associations … a guaranteed chilling read.”
The Melting Pot

“Searing, unrelenting and ruthlessly precise, a nose-in-the-bloodstains
account of the violence that splattered black Philadelphia in the late 60s
and early 70s.” Henry Schipper, producer of “Philly Black Mafia” in the ‘American Gangster’ TV series

About the author

Sean Patrick Griffin, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Administration of Justice at Penn State Abington. Before beginning his graduate education, he was a Philadelphia Police Officer for four years. Most recently, he was an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Clemson
University (South Carolina, 2000-2003). He has authored articles and conducted research in many areas of criminology, sociology and organized crime. His articles have appeared in numerous magazines and journals in many different countries. He is currently conducting research into the securities industry. Professor Griffin is an experienced media commentator and is available for interview.

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