"You know the rule, baby. Family first. Always."
―Mama Mabel to Cornell Stokes[src]

Maybelline "Mabel" Stokes, better known as Mama Mabel, was a crime-lord and the most powerful figure in Harlem. As the head of the Stokes Crime Family, Mabel taught Cornell Stokes how to become a cold hearted killer while attempting to keep Mariah Stokes out of the crime business. Once Mabel died, Cornell took up her mantel, taking over Harlem's Paradise while Mariah did all she could not to follow in her footsteps and become a politician instead.


Running Harlem

Raising the Stokes Family

"On his deathbed, what did you promise Buggy? That you'd take care of me and our business."
"What the hell are you talking about, Mabel? I've always put this shit before anything else. You were my woman before you was his. But I let that go. You always protect your family. No matter what."
―Mama Mabel and Pistol Pete[src]

Mama Mabel along with her husband Buggy Stokes and brother-in-law Peter Stokes built a criminal empire in Harlem through gun-running, prostitution, and other activities — but refused to get involved with drugs. Eventually, Buggy died, leaving Mabel in control of the Stokes family business, with Pete as her right hand.

Mabel chose her grandson Cornell Stokes to be her successor; although Cornell wanted to pursue a career in music, Mabel groomed him to rule the streets instead.[1]

Dealing with the McIvers

This section requires expansion

Mabel brutally burns down the McIver home

"Sorry, babe. Told your mom I wasn't dealing with no goddamn lawyers."
―Mama Mabel to John McIver[src]

In the mid-80s, Mabel and her family traveled to Kingston to discuss a business deal with Gwen McIver, who asked for a fair share of Harlem's Paradise out of respect for the friendship between her husband Quincy and Buggy Stokes. Mabel openly refused, and later that evening, proceeded to burn Gwen alive inside her own home, drunkenly taunting her son, John, as she fled the scene. Two years later, she sent an assassin to deal with him, as well.[5]

Donnie's Mistake

"My husband, his brother, and me built this here Harlem game brick by brick. Numbers, pussy, guns. But you know good and goddamn well the one thing I never sell is drugs. So what the hell made you go and do something so stupid?"
―Mama Mabel[src]

One night she forced Cornell to kill a young thug in the basement for dealing with drugs outside of her mob. He returned upstairs from the basement with blood on his hands where he returned to his piano. Mama Mabel comforted him with a hug as she put her hands on top of him.[1]

Executing Pistol Pete

Next, Mama Mabel confronted Pistol Pete for making a deal with the Puerto Rican mob. She forced Cornell to lead him outside at gunpoint. Mariah Dillard came out and started shouting at Uncle Pete, until Cornell shot him twice, killing him.[1]

Mariah Stokes' Pregnancy

"I barely had time to fall in love with you before Mama Mabel snatched you away."
Mariah Dillard to Tilda Johnson[src]
This section requires expansion

To be added

Death and Legacy

Fall of the Stokes Family

"I'm still better than you."
"You keep telling yourself that, May May. Drugs are a plague."
"I don't have to listen to you. You forget, you're dead and gone."
"I'm right here. Where I will always be."
Mariah Dillard and Mama Mabel[src]

Eventually, Mabel passed away from old age. Her grandson Cornell took over the family business while her granddaughter Mariah Dillard tried and failed to distance herself from her criminal upbringing as much as possible. As Stokes's world began to cave in around her, she hallucinated seeing Mabel and Pistol Pete in her office, condemning them both.[5]


"I didn't have shit. I grew up in the street. But the one name that always rang out was "Stokes". You needed a Thanksgiving turkey? Go see Mama Mabel Stokes. School clothes? Mama Mabel Stokes. Your old man put his hands on you? See Mama Mabel Stokes and it would never, ever happen again."

Mabel Stokes was a ruthless, yet respected figure in Harlem's underworld. She governed the neighborhood with an iron fist and was determined not to let outsiders, particularly the Jamaican McIvers, worm their way into her family's empire. Despite her mantra "Family First", she was shown to be exceptionally abusive to members of her family who impeded her criminal operations and was more than willing to abuse and manipulate them to her leisure. She had no qualms about killing Pistol Pete when it suited her needs, refused to let her granddaughter Mariah Stokes have an abortion after discovering that she was pregnant from Pete's sexual abuse, and forced her grandson Cornell into a criminal lifestyle despite his desire for a peaceful career in the music industry.

She also demonstrated a considerable cruelty streak as shown when she ordered to murder Gwen McIver in front of her son before taunting him over the reasons for the murder, mutilated members of her crime family for offending her, and forced favors out of members of Harlem's community who she helped in return for their future aid under penalty of destroying their careers.


  • Expert Tactician: To be added



  • Molotov Cocktail: To be added







Appearances of Mama Mabel

In chronological order:


  • Mama Mabel's outfit and appearance are similar to the comic-book version of Black Mariah.


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