In the 1960s the Conservative Vice Lords transformed themselves from a street gang into an organization devoted to the economic and social empowerment of the African American community in Lawndale, Illinois.

Their story has been largely forgotten and their accomplishments remain hidden from the present generation. A majority of Chicagoans are unaware of the momentous events that took place in one of Chicago's poorest Black neighborhoods

The CVL proved that young Black people from the streets can unite and build a better future. They also showed that their steps forward would be vehemently opposed by the white political establishment

This is the pictorial story of their successes and of one of the greatest lost opportunities in the history of America.

1. One Way
2.Junior Vice Lords
3.Basketball in Lawndale
4. Better Boys Club Director

picture ourtesy of James F. Short, Jr. click to enlarge
other picutres from JimShort 1...2...3