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NCJ Number: 148913 Find in a Library
Title: Black Crusaders: The Rise and Fall of Political Gangs
Journal: Society  Volume:11  Issue:1  Dated:(November-December 1973)  Pages:44-50
Author(s): W B Helmreich
Date Published: 1973
Page Count: 7
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The history and experience of the Black Crusaders, an organization of militant young ghetto dwellers that aimed to influence and improve their community's political and economic situation in 1968 and 1969, provides a model of the problems and pressures encountered by black self-help groups in many cities.
Abstract: Consisting of militant young ghetto residence around age 17, the group was formed in a large midwestern city in August 1968 and lasted until January 1969. Most members had criminal records, but had committed only misdemeanors. Leaders ranged from 18 to 28 years old. The organization's goals were to establish an economic base for black people, to protect the community from racist police officers, to convince black people to regard white people as individuals, to persuade black youth not to use drugs, to urge black people not to join the armed forces, and to raise awareness among the older residents of the community. The organization broke up after 5 months due to continuing opposition from the city's power structure, negative articles in the media, the failure to teach the black community about the group's goals before making public their active opposition to the city power structure, and community apathy and lack of unity. Although the group's accomplishments were not too significant in relation to the effort and problems involved, the experience may be useful for similar groups with similar goals.
Main Term(s): Juvenile/Youth Gangs
Index Term(s): Black/African Americans; Community action programs; Criminology; Youth groups
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