In the early 1960s, Pep and the Conservative Vice Lords in many ways acted just like other youth gangs - snatching purses, fighting with rivals, and living life on the streets. Like the Blackstone Rangers and Devil Disciples on the southside, the west side Vice Lords were a terror.

Chicago always had gangs - Irish, Polish, Jewish, Italians. Their African American counterparts stepped right in the stolen shoes of their white ethnic cousins. Racial tensions would continue for many years.

The Vice Lords built their empire through violence and shrewd tactics. They incorporated other gangs and lent support to friends. In 1964, Eugene Hairston, a cousin of CVL leader Leonard Calloway, co-founded the Blackstone Rangers.

picture by Conservative Vice Lords. click to enlarge