Gang History in the Black Community

I discussed this topic some in a recent essay I drafted for a publication titled From Richard Wright’s Bigger Thomas to Ferguson’s Michael Brown: The Reality of Indignant Forces in Post-Racial America. I touched on this topic mildly, but since gangs were not the theme of my paper, it lacked a great deal of depth. The video below is fantastic as it notes this way of life is a dead end. One is either killed by a fellow gang member, by another gang member, by a cop, or will spend the rest of his/her life in fear or jail. Rap culture and Hollywood have romanticized this life style. White kids, Asian kids, etc are caught up in this false lie. The video points to the fact that gang related violence and murder are at new lows thanks to intervention programs by community groups and former gang members. Bloods Above: I am a Blood for a Halloween dress up day on campus. As I stated to folks on campus, there are 35,000 Bloods throughout the USA. Thus, there is no way I would leave campus in this outfit. The video below is a great historical take on this matter. See video on their history: The pervasiveness of this lifestyle is now embedded in popular culture, as seen in a season five episode of the popular animated show, South Park. Like the coolness of being from the hood, white kids in the suburb of South Park can participate without fearing the consequences. South Park …yet as noted in the above video, gang life extended beyond urban borders. The image below shows gang members skiing in Aspen, Colorado. Gangs skiing The rap group NWA talked about street life and police brutality. I do not think they were seeking to romanticize the life as much as they wanted to profit off of the image. Further, due to LAPD attempt at cracking down on gang violence, groups such as NWA felt it was important to respond to the brutality that followed the crack down. See their hit video here:

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3 thoughts on “Gang History in the Black Community

  1. Glad to see that this is being talked about. I ask, how does our society remove the Hood culture that’s popular among the masses? Our society is at an all time low of unintelligent behavior and Hood/Gang culture surely perpetuates an anti-intellectual mentality. Anti-intellectualism and vapid celebrity worship are really a poison in our society.

    It’s sad that all the work done by great men like James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, etc. is being flushed down the drain and replaced by golden chains, teeth and violence.

  2. Eddie, you make so many great points here; I have a future post coming that supports everything you voiced. I do my best to educated folks on their struggles as a people; I do not want folks to forget the real struggles. As I noted, I fear commercialization is driving this industry.

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