By Whatever Means Necessary: The Times of Godfather of Harlem

Season 1
 (8)
2020TV-14
"By Whatever Means Necessary: The Times of Godfather of Harlem" is a four-part docu-series that brings to life the dramatic true story of America’s Black Mecca and its vibrant musical landscape during the years of Bumpy Johnson’s rise and reign.
Starring
Forest WhitakerGiancarlo EspositoIlfenesh Hadera
Genres
Documentary
Subtitles
English (US) [CC]English [CC]
Audio languages
English

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  1. 1. Mecca
    November 7 2020
    48min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English (US) [CC], English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    The "cultural capital of Black America," 1960s Harlem, faces problems and rising tensions as, all over the country, civil rights protests proliferate. As the decade unfolds, music gives voice to a community fighting for justice.
  2. 2. Freedom Songs
    November 13 2020
    49min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English (US) [CC], English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    A musical, political and spiritual revolution gains momentum across Black America, inspiring Jazz greats John Coltrane, Charlie Mingus and Max Roach to express their activism through their instruments, and Abbey Lincoln to vocalize her pain in song
  3. 3. Crossroads
    November 21 2020
    51min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English (US) [CC], English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    The rich diversity of the Harlem population shapes new forms of music that draw on different sounds and styles heard around the neighborhood, like R&B, jazz, soul, mambo, blues, and 'boogaloo,' all of which reflect the common goal of racial justice.
  4. 4. Power
    November 28 2020
    48min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    New voices like the Black Panthers offer a message to Black America: it's time for revolution. The call for Black Power sparks a cultural shift not just in Harlem, but around the world, as Black music infiltrates the mainstream.

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8 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

JKCReviewed in the United States on November 23, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Black American Story is the Quintessential American Story; what an insightful depiction!
The story of Black people in America is the most transformative story in the history of the world. The pain that has been endure and the perseverance to outlast all enemies foreign & domestic. Truly every story hidden or known is a testament to the most powerful human beings to ever walk the planet. This doc is Legendary, Iconic, Black Brilliance & Black Excellence personified.
8 people found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on February 28, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Hidden Gem of Harlem,NY
With no advertising I don’t know how I found this historical gem. The smorgasbord of Black and Latina culture, music, human and civil rights that features a plethora of artists, residents and social activists was priceless. Two of my personal colleagues were also featured: Apollo’s own Billy Mitchell and my mentor and a former member of Brother Malcolm’s OAAU, A. Peter Bailey.
2 people found this helpful
David K.Reviewed in the United States on May 7, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
A true hidden gem!
That this existence is still the norm for any people in the Divided States of Merica is soooo telling. Conservatives make the conscious decision to never learn from history or their mistakes - as a matter of fact they always double down; it just boggles the mind! But we end up with great music and talented people from every struggle. This doc is a must see!
2 people found this helpful
salaamReviewed in the United States on March 16, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
The right fight
Really love this documentary it is truly worth watching
One person found this helpful
Frankie HarpReviewed in the United States on February 14, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
A mysteriously hidden gem example of American Excellence
A beautiful, honest, and human documentary POV of 1960’s Harlems artist, leaders and community’s microcosmic reflection of the African American experience.
One person found this helpful
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