Have you ever heard of the Harlem Renaissance? It was an artistic movement back in the 1920s, and it celebrated African American fashion, music, religion, and literature. This primarily took place in Harlem, New York, and in the Harlem Queen podcast, Yhane Smith (along with the talented cast of voice actors) tells the story of Madame Stephanie St. Clair. She’s better known as the “Numbers Queen,” and although this is a fictional podcast, St. Clair was a real gambler during this time. So if you’re a fan of African American culture and history, then Harlem Queen is the perfect podcast for your ears.
The Host: This podcast was created and written by Yhane Smith, who also helps to produce and edit the scripts. The “Numbers Queen” Madame Stephanie St. Clair is played by Gabrielle Adkins. Gabrielle speaks with a convincing French accent on this podcast series, and she effortlessly adds an air of elegance and confidence to her voice as well. Other notable main characters are Dutch Schultz (played by Ian Bell), Betty (portrayed by Nia Calloway), and Ruby Washington (played by Journey Brown-Saintel).
The Guests: There aren’t really any guests on this podcast, although there are a plethora of featured actors. Some of these are Emerald Toller (who plays Michelle), Luke Slattery (who plays Manos), Damian Paris (who portrays Rene), and Peter Killy (who plays Lucky Luciano).
Why You Have to Listen: On the surface, a podcast seems like a simple piece of audio to create for listeners. But without the use of visuals to tell a story, how can one create the feel and atmosphere of the 1920s? Well, Yhane Smith has managed to take us back in time to an era that shaped the identity of African Americans, and the audio tracks do a great job of capturing these vocal elements. Now a fair warning: some of these short episodes (which vary between 10-15 minutes in length) do contain some racial slurs, and references to gun violence, rape, and lynching, but don’t let that stop you from listening to this historical audio drama.
Listen to Harlem Queen
Discover More Great Audio…