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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary

Street Gangs — Chicago Based or Influenced

People Nation and Folk Nation

Background - The Seeds of the Alliances Black P-Stone symbol

Chicago street gangs emerged in the 1960's when a "youth group" called the Black P-Stone Rangers developed into a criminal organization.

Photo of Jeff Fort
Jeff Fort

The group's leader, Jeff Fort, united the leaders of some 50 area street gangs into a single organization, calling it the Black P-Stone Nation.

The group was controlled by a 21-man commission, self-titled the "Main 21." The leaders projected the group as a socially conscious, self-help organization that would help uplift themselves and their community. Another Black P-Stones Symbol

As a result of this premise, the group sought and obtained $1.4 million in federal anti-poverty funds. These funds were then used to support the group's illegal activities. A federal grand jury uncovered the funds mismanagement and Jeff Fort was sent to federal prison.

The perceived success of Fort's Black P-Stone Nation resulted in the formation of many other street gangs, that claimed to be politically and socially motivated. Of the groups that surfaced, many dropped to a level of


Photo of David Barksdale
David Barksdale
disorganization, while others developed into sophisticated, highly organized groups involved in prostitution, robbery, burglary, extortion, and drug sales.

Two very influential gangs, the Black Disciples, led by David Barksdale, and the Gangster Disciples, led by Larry Hoover, followed Fort's example and unified their gangs to form the Black Gangster Disciple Nation.

Throughout the 1970's, the Black P-Stone Nation and Black Gangster Disciple Nation controlled the Chicago drug trade and became bitter rivals expressing their anger by creating the bloodiest gang war in Chicago's history.


The Emergence of Alliances

Many of the leaders and members of the Chicago gangs ended up in federal and state correctional facilities. The increased number of individual gangs created a need for immediate visual gang identification that would enable members to distinguish allies from enemies among the prison population.

During the 1980's, within the prison walls, gangs began separating into alliances. The two alliance names that emerged were the People Nation and Folk Nation.

All gangs that were originally aligned with the Black P-Stone Nation aligned with People Nation.

Those that were originally aligned with the Black Gangster Disciple Nation aligned with the Folk Nation.

Many gangs or "sets," as they are called, are aligned with one of the two Chicago alliances. The more prevalent groups are shown below by alliance.

People Nation Sets

  • Black P-Stone
  • Latin Kings
  • Vicelords
  • Spanish Lords
  • El Rukns
  • Bishops
  • Gaylords
  • Latin Counts
  • Kents

Folk Nation Sets

  • Black Gangster Disciples
  • Black Disciples
  • Gangster Disciples
  • La Raza
  • Cobras
  • Eagles
  • Latin Disciples
  • Maniac Latin Disciples
  • Simon City Royals
  • Spanish Gangsters
  • Two Sixers

Here are some basic traits these alliances have in common.

Mentality and Philosophy

  1. The "All for One, One for All" philosophy poses a significant threat; members demand participation in assaultive behavior by all members who are present.
    • The one-on-one fight of the past now becomes a full disturbance.

  2. "Code of Conduct" terminologies include:
    • "Folk before family."
    • "I will not let my brother fall to a knee."
    • "All is All" and "All is Well" (People)
    • "All is One." (Folk)

  3. Incidents often occur over trivial matters that are viewed as disrespectful by rival members.
    • Striking through a rival's graffiti or painting it upside down.
    • Drinking from a plastic cup belonging to a rival gang member.
    • Showing rival's hand signs upside down or crossing out a rival's hand-signs with another finger.
    • Breaking rival's symbols.

Rules and codes of conduct such as those mentioned above must be strictly followed. Those members who choose not to participate in a gang activity are subject to disciplinary action or "violations."

Violations can range from a beating, by fellow members for a given period of time, to death. Violation orders are often written out and signed by ranking members of the groups at their facility.

Violence associated with these groups is often disciplinary in nature.