The Black Godfather (1974)

J.J. is a young African American male who goes from nobody to street boss after being taken under the wing of the “Black Godfather” Nate Williams. After a robbery attempt on a drug dealing goes bad and J.J. loses his best friend, Williams helps him survive and gives him the cash to get started. Nate is that most perfect of all movie creations, the older street boss who takes care of his community without exploiting them. J.J. learns from him and takes on a mission — rules the streets without letting the white drug dealers in.

Those white dealers are led by mafia leader Tony Burton, who kills J.J.’s mentor and kidnaps his woman, aided and abetted by crooked white cop — is there any kind in these films? — Joe Sterling.

This film was written and directed by John Evans, who also created 1978’s Blackjack. It’s an example of black artists creating movies starring their own people, instead of waiting for white Hollywood to put them on the screen. This isn’t the best film I’ve seen in the genre, nor does it really play much off its title mimicking the biggest film of 1972, The Godfather. But there’s some charm to Rod Perry here, as he’s also probably the best part of another film of this era, The Black Gestapo.

You can get The Black Godfather on Mill Creek’s new Soul Team Six DVD collection, along with five other films. It’s also on Tubi, Amazon Prime and the Internet Archive for free.

DISCLAIMER: Mill Creek sent us this set, but we were planning on buying it anyway. It has no bearing on this review.

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