SPOILERS FOLLOW: A day or two ago I wrote that Leslie Odom’s Harold McBrayer struck me as the most compelling character in The Many Saints of Newark. Or at the very least the most centered — he just “was” in a Zen sense — a character with a thing or two to prove to the goombahs, but an actor with nothing to prove to the audience.
I also mentioned that Harold’s rising in the ranks with impunity and murdering a certain prominent Italian guy without apparent reprisals seemed a bit of a stretch.
There’s also the matter of Odom’s affair with a certain well-connected Italian woman, which seems unlikely given the deeply embedded racism in Newark’s Italian mob culture of a half-century ago.
Even more so this Italian woman inexplicably confessing this affair to her significant other, knowing as she surely did that Italian mob attitudes about black dudes were extremely toxic, not to mention the Italian machismo factor and territorial attitudes when it came to wives and girlfriends.
This really doesn’t calculate. A woman in her position would never confess to this, as in NEVER EVER as it would be tantamount to suicide.
Friendo spoiler: “I can believe that Giuseppina would have slept with a black guy, but no way would she have ever confessed this to Dickie. In that time period, when this kind of thing was hugely verboten among urban Italians? Just no way.”