The Official Website of Best-Selling Author Sean Patrick Griffin

Interview and Black Brothers, Inc. mention in March 2010 Playboy issue

I was interviewed some time ago by journalist/author Frank Owen for a piece he was writing on the Philly underworld.  In particular, he was examining the widely-publicized murder of party promoter Rian Thal and the sociology of the area’s drug trade.  The lengthy and compelling article appears in the March 2010 issue of Playboy.  Though for obvious reasons I can’t link to the article on this quasi-academic blog, the Black Brothers, Inc. mention appears in the following context:

“As one of Philadelphia’s top party promoters, Thal was privy to powerful personalities in the entertainment industry and in the drug underworld. She stood at the nexus of a trickle-up economy, an intermingling of dirty and clean money. ‘You see those worlds intertwined all the time in Philadelphia, going back to the 1960s,’ says Sean Patrick Griffin, author of Black Brothers, Inc. The Violent Rise and Fall of Philadelphia’s Black Mafia, about the ruthless gang that ruled the local drug trade in the 1960s and 1970s. The figure from the past most reminiscent of Thal, says Griffin, is Major Benjamin Coxson, an outwardly respectable businessman and mayoral candidate who was even profiled in Time magazine before he was shot execution-style in 1973. Coxson was a financier for the Black Mafia and also rented out luxury apartments, some of which were used as stash houses, others as the site for sex and drug- saturated after-hours parties for music and sporting celebrities. ‘It was only the real exclusive people who could get into these parties,’ says Griffin. ‘Very much like Rian Thal, Coxson brought together high society and low society. Thal was the hip-hop generation’s version of Major Coxson.’”

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