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Books for changing the world
Madame St. Clair

In the 1920s & 30s, Stephanie St. Clair, a self-made Black woman, ran one of New York City’s many illegal gambling rings, known colloquially as "the numbers." She was successful, rich, beautiful, and tough as nails. She was targeted by police, harassed, and incarcerated. This zine by LaShawn Harris offers a glimpse into the woman who was known in Harlem as Madame Queenie.

"To understand Black life, in the past and today, we need to reclaim the stories of women like Madame Stephanie St. Clair—women who were attacked in their own time and erased in ours precisely because they fought back against a racist system that policed them and tried to destroy them. In this zine, Dr. LaShawn Harris goes a long way toward restoring St. Clair to us, in her courage and her furs." —Mariame Kaba