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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Chicago History: Black Gangster Disciples>Criminals or Visionairies?

Black Gangster Disciples

Growing up in the city of Chicago, everyone knew who the Black Gangster Disciples were. Their history is well known nationally and internationally, but who are they really?
Some of the Disciple Nation under David Barksdale’s leadership were: Devit’s Disciples, Falcon Disciples, Royal Disciples, Renegade Disciples, Executioner Disciples, Boss Pimp disciples, East Side Disciples, Sircon Disciples, Motown Disciples, Dutchtown Disciples, Gonzato Disciples, Six-Tray Disciples, Maniac Disciples and four-Tray Disciples. Also during this period of time, David Barksdale controlled the Del Vikings, the Black Souls, and the West Side Cobras.

Some of the branches of the Gangster Nation under Larry Hoover’s leadership were: The Supreme Gangsters (the first branch was considered to be the father of the gangster nation), Imperial Gangsters, African Sniper Gangsters, Raven Gangsters, High Supreme Gangsters, Russian Gangsters, Maniac Gangsters, Mafia Gangsters , 75th Street Syndicate Gangsters, Outlaw Gangsters, 95th Street Supreme Gangsters, the Dells Gangsters, West Side Suprem Gangsters, Racketeer Gangsters, East side Syndicate Gangsters, Gent town Gangsters, and the Black Pimp Gangsters of the West Side.

David Barksdale

Everybody in the City of Chicago who as a Disciple or a Gangster was under the leadership of David Barksdale or Larry Hoover, respectively. Up until that point in our history, no one in an organization had ever been referred to as a “King.”

At the time, the Vice Lords, the Blackstone Rangers (Stones) and the Disciples were the three major gangs (street organizations) in the City of Chicago. In terms of membership numbers and organizational structure, the Vice Lords were the first major gang in the Lawndale area. Some of the businesses that they opened were a Restaurant, clothing boutiques, Tastee Freeze, pool room, Teen Town Dance Studio and an art studio. In addition they offered many programs for the benefit of the community.The Vice Lords reached their peak between the years 1957 and 1967. They were the father of the “Super Gangs: and had their origin on the west side of Chicago. They were the forerunners of the concept of changing street gangs into organizations.

In the years 1963 and 1964, two southside street gangs started to take a form that would eventually evolve into two of the most powerful street organizations in Chicago. They were the Blackstone Rangers and the Black Disciples. During the reign of these two organizations, the Blackstone Rangers were believed to be the most organized because they held national recognition, support from prominent business men, entertainers, and politicians. They entered into business ventures with the late Sammy Davis Jr. and had the support of W. Clement Stone, a self-made millionaire and business entrepreneur. However, one of the most impressive displays of political power and community importance of a street organization came when Jeff Fort, leader of the Blackstone Rangers, was invited to the late Richard Nixon’s inauguration.
The Blackstone Rangers were originally founded by Eugene Hairston and Jeff Fort. Under Jeff Fort’s leadership they prospered and changed their organization’s name to “the Black P. Stone Nation” and eventually they became known as “the El Rukns.”

David Barksdale, the leader of the Black Disciple Nation, had an organization that was comparable to the Blackstone Rangers. Although he did not receive the same amount of national recognition, he was well known through the City of Chicago and was respected by his friends and feared by his foes. At the time, David Barksdale was the most revered street gang organizer in Chicago.

On the other hand, amongst these two major street organizations on the southside of Chicago were the Gangster: A young street organization striving for a place of high recognition and respect in the City of Chicago. The Blackstone Rangers and the Black Disciple Nation were vying to bring the Gangsters in as part of their respective organizations. Jeff Fort, as leader of the Black P. Stone nation, brought Larry Hoover an offer to incorporate the Gangsters as part of the Black P. Stone Nation’s structure as Gangster Stones and offered Hoover the less favorable position as an ambassador within the Black P. Stone Nation. In Hoover’s mind, such a merger would swallow up the Gangster identity. Therefore Hoover declined.
When Jeff Fort offered Hoover the opportunity to incorporate, he was unaware of just how strong the Gangsters were rapidly becoming. With branches of Gangsters throughout Chicago, Hoover’s empire had reached the Morgan Park area on the southwest side, across 95th Street and well into the far-south edges of the City. The Gangsters swelled from Ashland and Halsted on the west to Cottage Grove on the east. Pockets of Gangsters were scattered throughout every district on the southside of Chicago and membership was rapidly growing on the West side. Larry Hoover had put together the Black Gangster Disciple Nation, which would vie for power and battle the Stones and Disciples for years to come.

In January 1969, David Barksdale, leader of the Disciple Nation, developed a broader vision about the mission and purpose of street organizations (commonly referred to as “street gangs”). In essence, David was tired of the senseless violence and mayhem that was destroying the black community because of street gangs’ warfare. He struggled with the idea of how to bring an end to the constant gang warfare that existed between the Disciples and the Gangsters. He realized that such a state of existence would only bring about self-destruction in the lives of ghetto youth. Therefore, he made an offer that Hoover could not refuse. David proposed merging the two organizations with Hoover sharing equal power. From that merger, THE BLACK GANGSTER DISCIPLE NATION was born. This began the era of “Kings.”

Larry Hoover is nationally and internationally known as perhaps one of the greatest street gang leaders in U.S. history. In the 1980s, Hoover proclaimed a "new concept" of organizing the BGDN on corporate lines and became the "Chairman of the Board." He stressed education, economic development and political involvement, and eventually renamed the Black Gangsters "Growth and Development." It was his manifesto, but highly clever. Larry Hoover is an undisputed mastermind.  Link:

Not since the days of Al Capone had Chicago seen such a man with as much power and influence as Hoover. A natural leader; his true power was that he could convince a man to either do right...or do wrong. He is currently serving a life sentence in Colorado Supermax prison.

The Black Gangsta Disciple's infamy is legendary. The first rule of the Disciples is Secrecy and Silence. However, given the strength of their past leadership, their membership boasts in the city of Chicago around 50-75,000 members. Nationally, about 250,000 and internationally, it's estimated that their are over 600,000 members.

Gangster Disciples are in the U.S. military and there have been reports of actual gang graffiti seen on bases as far as Iraq.

Ask anyone from Chicago, the GD's are no joke. The FBI takes them very seriously, and I have to ask this question: if such intelligent young men can form organizations as organized as this; why can't anyone motivate them to take this natural talent and use it for something positive.
Are they criminals or unconventional visionaries?

Someone once said that the richest place on earth is not a gold or diamond mine--it is a cemetery. Why? Because cemeteries are filled with people who never lived up to their potential.

People keep talking about the violence in Chicago, but hell, Chicago has always had a violent past--pick a decade.
Many lives have been lost to gang violence. Where was the media concern over 40 years ago?
Why can't gangs be eliminated?

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