Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

The Almighty Black P Stone Nation: The Rise, Fall and Resurgence of an American Gang
BOOK REVIEW
by Tracy Baim, Windy City Times
2011-05-18

This article shared 7284 times since Wed May 18, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


By Natalie Y. Moore and Lance Williams, $26.95; Lawrence Hill . Books; 294 pages

Authors Natalie Moore and Lance Williams have documented an important chapter in Chicago's history in their new book, The Almighty Black P Stone Nation. While primarily about a South Side street gang operating over several decades in Chicago, this book does an excellent job of connecting the dots of poverty, FBI and police harassment, unemployment, drugs, violence, and even anti-terrorism efforts pre- and post-9/11.

This book is not a sugary presentation about repressed and oppressed African-American male youth, but rather it links their situation to the problems of the greater society. There are no simple causes of gang participation, and there are no simple solutions. This book just provides us with a great understanding of the inner workings of the Blackstone Rangers. This was a powerful group that ultimately encompassed 21 individual gangs into their Black Stone Nation.

Across multiple generations of disaffected youth, the Rangers were a legendary gang, sometimes with notions of helping their community, other times participating in territorial bloodbaths. Lyndon Johnson's White House and J. Edgar Hoover's FBI both feared their power, worried that they would disrupt the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and cause even more trouble beyond that event. Meanwhile, the Black Panthers and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan wanted to partner with them. The Chicago police tried to destroy them, threatened even by the good things the gang tried to do in their communities.

"In gangster lore, the Almighty Black P Stone Nation stands out among the most notorious street gangs," the authors state. "Louis Farrakhan hired the Blackstone Rangers as his Angels of Death. Fifteen years before 9/11, the U.S. government accused the Stones of plotting domestic terrorist acts with Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. And currently, founding member Jeff Fort is serving a triple life sentence at the only U.S. federal supermax prison. Were the Stones criminals, brainwashed terrorists, victims of their circumstances, or champions of social change? Or were they all of these, their role perceived differently by different races and socioeconomic groups?"

Here is a short excerpt from the book, this section set in 1968: " [ Dick Gregory ] announced a plan to run for U.S. president as a write-in candidate. Gregory also said that he planned to organize massive protests leading up to and through the Democratic National Convention to be held that August in Chicago. Gregory, who lived in Chicago at the time, wanted to force the city to enact a stronger fair housing ordinance and take other steps to address civil-rights issues. Gregory's plan included recruiting the Vice Lords, the Blackstone Rangers, and the Disciples to participate in these protests.

"These kinds of announcements by black leaders, ones that encouraged alliances between gangs and Black Nationalists—not the escalating violence between the Stones and Disciples—scared the shit out of the feds.

"The year 1968 was pivotal in U.S. history and for the Blackstone Rangers. Television news covered people protesting the Vietnam War and marching for civil rights and a wide range of radical groups vandalizing government and corporate buildings.

"And while it was never their intention, the Stones got caught up in 1968. To the Stones, their only enemies were the Disciples. To the government, the Stones were a perceived threat to local and national security. The Stones had a history of social activism and well-known associations with Black Nationalist leaders. These leaders recognized the Stones as potential allies, troops, and sometimes fodder. The Stones had already demonstrated their willingness to commit violence."

The authors ( Moore is a reporter for Chicago Public Radio and Williams is an associate professor at Northeastern Illinois University and the son of a former Vice Lord gang member ) do an excellent job of placing the gang and its leaders in the context of the larger society, thus providing an invaluable look at many important events, people and institutions in Chicago's history.

See www.blackstonebook.com .


This article shared 7284 times since Wed May 18, 2011
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER 'Mary Rose' running through Feb. 12 2022-01-10
- Black Button Eyes (BBE) Productions is concluding its 2021-22 season with the world-premiere musical Mary Rose, featuring book and lyrics by Producing Artistic Director Ed Rutherford, music and lyrics by Jeff Bouthiette, direction by Ed Rutherford ...


Gay News

ATTRACTIONS 'Dr. Seuss' extended through Jan. 23 2022-01-05
- The Dr. Seuss Experience—the immersive spectacle that gives guests of all ages the opportunity to journey through nine different Dr. Seuss books—will now take place on Saturdays and Sundays through Sunday, Jan. 23. The attraction is ...


Gay News

Actor, poet, arts activist Jerrie Johnson talks new Amazon show 'Harlem,' other work 2021-12-20
- Jerrie Johnson's mission to book a series regular role six months after finishing graduate school came to fruition when they (Johnson uses they/them pronouns) were cast as Tye, a lesbian dating app creator/CEO (who uses she/her ...


Gay News

COVID U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker test positive 2021-12-20
- U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker separately revealed they have tested positive for COVID. Fully vaccinated (including getting a booster shot), the 72-year old Massachusetts progressive declared on social ...


Gay News

NATIONAL New Jersey, Audre Lorde, LGBTQ book, youth items 2021-12-19
- In the face of growing anxiety over the Supreme Court's conservative bent, state lawmakers in New Jersey are moving to pass marriage-equality legislation, Gay City News reported. According to Garden State Equality, the New Jersey Assembly's ...


Gay News

Author/feminist bell hooks dies at 69 2021-12-15
- Acclaimed author and activist bell hooks died Dec. 15 at age 69. The writer (real name: Gloria Jean Watkins) was born in 1952 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, per NBC News. Her first published work, a book of ...


Gay News

Leading groups join call for LGBTQ-inclusive books, books on race, racism 2021-12-13
--From a GLAAD press release - GLAAD joins over 600 groups and individuals in a powerful statement of support against efforts to ban LGBTQ-inclusive books and books about race and racism. The statement, created by the National Coalition Against Censorship, is the ...


Gay News

Author Anne Rice dies at 80 2021-12-12
- Writer Anne Rice, whose Interview With The Vampire sold more than 150 million copies, died at age 80 on Dec. 11, according to media reports. Her son Christopher Rice, an out gay man who is also ...


Gay News

U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids reaches marginalized communities with children's book 2021-12-07
- U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids' children's book, Sharice's Big Voice, tells the story of how an Indigenous lesbian mixed martial artist and lawyer became the first LGBTQ+ representative of Kansas. "My hope is that when children or ...


Gay News

Hell in a Handbag Productions to present Christmas Dearest Nov. 27-Dec. 31 2021-12-03
--From a press release - CHICAGO (December 2, 2021) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to continue its 20th anniversary season with the return of one of its most popular holiday musicals: Christmas Dearest, featuring book and lyrics by ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: World AIDS Day, 'Benedetta,' books, wine in a can 2021-11-26
- —World AIDS Day event at Belmont Harbor: —The Chicago Parks Foundation will hold a World AIDS Day event on Dec. 1, 9-10:30 a.m., at the Belmont Harbor Yacht Club. Antonio King, LGBTQ health and outreach liaison ...


Gay News

Designer and entrepreneur Kiki Bryant discusses future of 'Lollipop Lola' 2021-11-26
- On Jan. 21, 2021, Kiki Bryant set a $2,000 fundraising goal on Kiva.org to launch a children's doll based on her original book character, Lollipop Lola. The goal was met that same day. "That was a ...


Gay News

Missouri district returning LGBTQ+ books to high school libraries 2021-11-23
- In Missouri, the North Kansas City School district said it would return two books exploring LGBTQ+ themes to its high school libraries following public outcry, The Hill noted. The district announced its plans to reshelve All ...


Gay News

Downers Grove parents complain about LGBTQ books 2021-11-16
- Continuing a battle that's been taking place in several other states, parents in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove say they want publications they call "pornography" removed from the high schools' libraries, according to WGN-TV. At ...


Gay News

ATTRACTIONS 'The Dr. Seuss Experience' at Water Tower Place 2021-11-12
- It's certainly a time and place to be immersed in nostalgia. The family-friendly attraction "The Dr. Seuss Experience" is running through Jan. 2, 2022, at Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave. It's certainly hard to ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.