Black Mafia Widow, Thelma Wright, Shares Her Story with New Book Release, “With Eyes From Both Sides”

Philadelphia – The words “queen pen” and “boss lady” can conjure up many images. One might think of an icy, cold-blooded gangstress who is heartless about the business at hand. Yet, the sparkling, green eyes belonging to Thelma Wright paint a different picture. Though rumored at one time to be the most powerful and dangerous Black woman in Philadelphia, discreetly running a bi-coastal drug empire that her husband left behind, Wright’s green eyes reflect a pensive view. Peering into them, we feel the love, the loss, the pain and the retribution of a mother, a wife now widowed and a yes, even a friend. Simply stated, Thelma Wright was married to the mob … the Black Mafia to be exact. But nothing is ever that simple.

With her poignantly, introspective release of “With Eyes From Both Sides – Living My Life In and Out of the Game” as told to and written by C. Alease, the former boss lady invites us not only into her world, but into her mind, her heart and her soul. The woman, quietly heralded by some as the Black Griselda Blanco, minus the murder, was on the lead track of the notorious Black Mafia, a gang which ran Philly’s drug trade throughout the ’80’s and into the ’90’s. Married to drug kingpen, Jackie Wright, one of the top heroin wholesalers in the city at that time, Wright was privy to a life that on the surface, most would envy.

Like Blanco, Wright was respected as a no nonsense woman who stayed on top of the product. At her peak, she was grossing top dollar and living the high life, attending championship fights via private jets, going on European shopping sprees and driving a fleet of customized Mercedes Benzs. She also enjoyed taking cruises to the Bahamas and speed boating in Miami.

“With Eyes From Both Sides” however, Wright takes us beneath the surface of the fast lane into the real. The product of a middle working class Black family, Wright attended Catholic school and was a star athlete as a child. Life was never difficult for her and she came from a stable and loving, two-parent home. Wright’s story is not your typical tale of abuse or abandonment. In fact, it was the strength of good parenting and strong family ties that saw her through her darkest days.

So how did she end up entangled in one of the Black underworld’s most notorious gangs? It was the attraction for men who had achieved financial status and success that was the bait that lured her into the ‘game.’ Like most inner city communities in an era past, the fast life was the road many initially, well intended Black men traveled to acquire seemingly quick and easy riches.

Wright’s novel is a ride down memory lane, as we flashback to the tone of those times. Nostalgia colors our remembrance of days long past, as she recalls childhood games on the schoolyard in her elementary years to her high school graduation, her first job and her first boyfriend even.

Through her vivid recollections, we gain recognition of the heart behind a woman who loved so hard that her eyes were blinded to the cold reality of truth. In a world cluttered with deceitful dealings, pain and continual loss, Wright closed her inner eyes and saw only a facade of what was real.

“There are really roads, highways to this life, with fast lanes and slow lanes and some with banked curves and circles around which we are driven. My story is a warning for women who think that the fast lane is the road less traveled, and therefore the best one to take. It is a cautionary tale for the inquisitive, middle of the road wanderers, who stumble at the fork, wondering what it might be like. But above all, it is a prayer for women all over the world who wish to know the truth of the matter,” reveals Thelma Wright. “If you are in the ‘game,’ get out, because it will destroy you.”

Thelma Wright’s “With Eyes From Both Sides – Living My Life In and Out of the Game” is more than your cautionary urban fiction lore. It is the real life drama of a woman who played the game in full and survived to tell about it. But even more so, Thelma Wright is ‘everywoman’ who has ever loved someone, but had to learn to love herself first and foremost.

See what her eyes reveal at and purchase “With Eyes From Both Sides – Living My Life In and Out of the Game” there or wherever good books are sold.

A book launch and signing party for Wright will be held Saturday, July 30 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Recess Lounge in Philadelphia. The Recess Lounge is located at 125 South Second Street.