‘Godfather of Harlem’: Does Bumpy Snitch on Malcolm X?

Malcolm x Bumpy Johnson and Bill Harvey in Godfather of Harlem Collage
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All Roads Lead To Malcom (s03e07) set the stage for Malcolm X’s (Nigel Thatch) death as Godfather Of Harlem has proved that he has more enemies than previously thought. With Malcolm X and Che Guevara set to speak at the UN, the CIA, and the FBI clarified that they won’t let it happen. Bumpy Johnson (Forest Whitaker) is the government’s best chance of getting to Malcom. So, does Bumpy Johnson snitch on a “brother” to save his own skin and recover his business?

According to official records, Malcolm X was assassinated by members of the Nation of Islam two weeks after he asked Bumpy Johnson to stop offering him security. Both the FBI and the CIA were blamed for having a hand in the assassination, but that remains to be shown in future episodes of Godfather of Harlem. Bumpy Johnson already ended his partnership with Jose Battle and the CIA after refusing to snitch on Malcolm, and whether he changes his mind later remains to be seen.

As far as history is concerned, members of the Nation of Islam from Mosque 25 in Newark killed Malcolm X as he delivered a speech at the Organization of Afro-American Unity in Manhattan. Two of the three people convicted for his murder were exonerated in 2021, leaving the CIA and FBI as the possible killers, which brings Bumpy back into the discussion. Now that selling out Malcolm can save Bumpy’s business, does he drop his principles and betray him?

Will Bumpy betray Malcolm X?

godfather harlem Jose Battle and Bumpy Johnson 1

While all fingers point to the government agencies sanctioning Malcolm X’s assassination, there is no indication from the show that Bumpy Johnson plans to snitch on him. Bumpy Johnson has been friends with Malcolm for years, and Malcolm credits his recovery from addiction to Bumpy’s help.

When Bumpy discovers that the FBI and CIA faked an investigation into Jose Battle to get him to snitch on Malcolm, he ends his partnership with Battle and the CIA rather than snitch on Malcolm. He actually met Malcolm and Elise and told them about the plot.

It proves that Bumpy would rather lose his business than snitch on Malcolm, whom he considers a brother and friend. Snitching on Malcolm would also endanger Bumpy’s daughter, Elise because she works as Malcolm’s assistant and loves him.

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Bumpy’s business is struggling, though, and since he doesn’t sell duji anymore and now has no access to the CIA’s cocaine, his finances have taken a big hit, so the temptation to snitch on Malcolm to save his finances is high. He is unlikely to sell out Malcolm for money, though.

Historical records into the actual Bumpy Johnson show that he actually started cleansing the streets of Harlem of the heroin addiction fueled by the Genovese Italian mob.

Since the show is set for a climax, we could be about to see the hero in Bumpy rather than the mobster, which means he has no reason to snitch on Malcolm X anymore.

Is Brother Omar working for The Nation of Islam?

Omar Malcolm and Elijah Mohammed Godfather of Harlem

Omar is a complicated character that seems to do everything that serves his interests and could still be working for Elijah Mohammed despite telling Malcolm about the plot to kill him.

Everyone in Omar’s circle, including Sister Marny and his own mother, hates Malcolm X and Elise, by extension. Omar also tried to kill Malcolm despite having been close friends with him in the past.

Despite claiming to be deeply in love with Elise and seeking Malcom’s forgiveness and redemption, there is still a cloud of distrust around him. He seems to harbor a sinister motive against Malcolm and has never denied his loyalty to Elijah Mohammed.

Sister Marny still likes him and even trusts him enough to tell him about the assassination plot by the Newark mosque. Despite doing nothing to prevent that attack from happening, Malcolm fell for his tricks and made him his head of security, dropping Bumpy’s men in the process.

Everything about Omar spells betrayal, and he seems to be the person that will eventually bring about Malcolm X’s death. Elise still has feelings for him, but it doesn’t look like she will marry him if he ends up getting Malcolm killed.

How far is Godfather of Harlem from Malcolm X’s assassination?

Nigel Thatch as Malcolm X

Wild “Bill” Harvey tried to convince Bumpy to stop Malcolm from speaking at the UN alongside Che Guevara. Che Guevara addressed the UN in December 1964, while Malcolm X was assassinated in February 1965.

However, the show has had multiple time jumps, which makes it impossible to predict the next series of events. We only know that All Roads Lead To Malcolm (s03e07) puts Malcolm’s death about two months away.

Jubilation greeted Che Guevara’s arrival in the US in Harlem as many people supported the work of the Cuban revolutionaries in the liberation of African countries from colonialism.

Malcom invited Che Guevara to address the Organization Of Afro-American Unity at the Audobon Ballroom in New York, although he declined, citing security concerns. It is, therefore, possible that the CIA finally prevented Malcolm and Guevara from delivering their speech after all.

However, there is no official record of Bumpy Johnson having influence over Guevara or Malcolm’s decision on the matter. We only know that Malcolm declined Bumpy’s protection shortly after Guevara’s visit and was assassinated in February.

Who killed Malcolm X in real life?

Malcolm X in Mecca in Godfather of Harlem

Three people were sentenced to life in prison for Malcolm X’s murder, but two of them were exonerated in 2021, so it is still unclear who was behind the murder.

It happened as Malcolm prepared to address the Organization Of Afro-American Unity on February 21, 1965, at the Audubon Auditorium in Manhattan. A man approached the stage with a sawed-off shotgun and shot at Malcolm before two others armed with handguns did the same.

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Thomas Hayer is the gunman that was caught at the scene and beaten by the crowd at the scene before police arrested him. He was convicted of the murder alongside the two others who got exonerated in 2021.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has since reopened the investigation into the assassination after the Netflix series “Who Killed Malcolm X,” questioned the entire investigation that led to the conviction of the three.

In February 2023, Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz confirmed that she was suing the FBI for concealing evidence of their involvement in the assassination of Malcolm X.

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