Harlem Queen is a historical fiction audio drama based on the life and times of “Numbers Queen” Madame Stephanie St. Clair during the Harlem Renaissance. St. Clair was a gambler who resisted the Mafia for years and ran multiple criminal enterprises in the early 20th century. Little else is known about her. Harlem Queen reimagines her story, creatively filling in the gaps of history.
The entire first season of Harlem Queen is only about an hour of audio, but so much is packed into that time. There are multiple characters with full arcs, a vividly depicted setting achieved through meticulous sound design and recognizable historical figures, and a compelling story.
And of course, the star of it all is the Numbers Queen herself. If you’re like me, you may not have heard of St. Clair until now. She’s a fascinating character and an inspirational woman, and Harlem Queen does an excellent job of both telling her story and encouraging people like me to look up more information on her life.
There’s only so much I can say without spoiling this experience for you. If you’re intrigued by Madame Stephanie St. Clair or audio fiction in general, I highly encourage you to give this a try. It’ll be over too quickly and leave you eager for more.
Harlem Queen by Yhane Smith is a free historical fiction audio drama available through iTunes or wherever you find podcasts. Check out its website for more information or listen to the teaser episode now: