Research not Stereotypes

Larry Hoover

he Black Gangster Disciples began as the Devil's Disciples in the 1950s in Englewood. In From Gangster Disciple to The Blueprint: Growth & Development, the BGD explain their history in their own words.


David Barksdale was the most important leader of the Devils' Disciples and after his death, Shorty Freeman would run the Black Disciples. Larry Hoover, who headed his own group, "The Family," eventually united with the Black Disciples and others and in the 1970s became the Black Gangster Disciple Nation.

In the 1980s, Hoover proclaimed a "new concept" of organizing the BGDN on corporate lines and became the "Chariman of the Board." He stressed education, economic development and political involvement, and eventually renamed the Black Gangsters "Growth and Development." Gator Bradley's 1994 run for Third Ward alderman, chronicled for by Greg Donaldson, was organized by Twenty-First Century VOTE, a vehicle for gang political involvement firmly in the Chicago tradition.

Currently, Hoover is in maximum security and federal indictments have incacerated large numbers of Gangster Disciple leaders. A war between the Gangster Disciples and Black Disciples continues although both gangs are influential in their southside neighborhoods.

The Gangster Disciples continue to be a major force within Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and other states prison systems.

Kings of the Nation
pictures of past Kings of the BGDN

21st Century VOTE

An eyewitness report on Gator Bradley's run for alderman by Greg Donaldson.

Hard to find manifesto