Dirty, dangerous, and destitute. This was New York City in the 70’s. Pimps, hookers, and drug dealers owned the night. Crime was rampant, and the police were powerless to stop it. Random killings by the “Son of Sam” made New Yorkers even more fearful. The “Black Spades” was one of the largest and most violent Black street gangs in NYC during the 70’s. During its heyday, it reportedly had 29 chapters in The Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. The “Black Spades” arose out of the “Savage Seven” because of the increasing number of members.
In the year ’68 they started to terrorize their neighbourhood and with their activities they laid the groundwork for something that domineered the Bronx during the next 6 years: Streetgangs. Within shortest time gangs appeared on every street corner and names like “Black Spades”, “Savage Skulls”, “Seven Immortals”, “Seven Crowns”, “Savage Nomads”, “Ching A Ling”(starting out as a street gang in the early 60’s and influenced by the Hells Angels the Ching A Lings eventually evolved into a famous motorcycle club), “Black Skulls”, “Latin Kings”, “Young Lords”, “Ghetto Brothers” and many others could be seen everywhere.
This site has some very bad design elements but it’s worth it for the great pictures of gangs gone past: