Godfather of Harlem tells a story inspired by infamous Harlem crime boss Bumpy Johnson (Forest Whitaker), who in the early 1960s returned from eleven years in prison to find the neighborhood he once ruled in shambles. Season 2 finds Bumpy 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.
In addition to Oscar winner Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) as star and executive producer, season 2 sees the return of cast members Vincent D’Onofrio (Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Daredevil), Ilfenesh Hadera (She’s Gotta Have It, Baywatch), Nigél Thatch (Selma, American Dreams), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad, The Mandalorian), Lucy Fry (Bright, Vampire Academy), Rafi Gavron (A Star is Born), and Antoinette Crowe-Legacy. Cast members Erik LaRay Harvey (Luke Cage) and Demi Singleton (King Richard) have been upped to series regulars.
Produced by ABC Signature Studios, which is a part of Disney Television Studios, the series is co-created and executive produced by Chris Brancato and Paul Eckstein (Narcos). Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi, along with James Acheson, Markuann Smith and Joe Chappelle, serve as executive producers. Swizz Beatz serves as executive music producer. Chris Brancato serves as showrunner.