Crippin in Los Angeles Essay

This essay has a total of 1150 words and 5 pages.

Crippin in Los Angeles

African American gangs in Los Angeles originated mostly from the migration of African
Americans from the South after World War II. In the 1920's most of the gangs in Los
Angeles were family oriented and it was not until the late 1940's that the first gangs
began. The gangs surfaced out the area known as the East Side, which is the area east of
Main Street to Alameda. A lot of the gangs surfaced because of the racism perpetrated by
the whites. There was clear segregation and racism against blacks, they were not allowed
in certain areas of Los Angeles and could not buy property there. White gangs got together
to stop African Americans from trying to integrate themselves into the Los Angeles
society. In turn, African Americans formed their own gangs to retaliate against the white
violence against blacks. Eventually, the white gangs' attempt to segregate blacks began to
fail, and they began to move out of the inner city into the fast growing suburbs. African
Americans moved into the city and accounted for 71% of the population. What began as a
conflict between whites and blacks now became an intraracial problem between African
Americans themselves. Fights between the West Side of Los Angeles and the East Side were
mostly socioeconomic based. The gangs from the Westside fought to prove their toughness
and credibility, while Eastside gangs fought because they were viewed as economically
inferior to the Westside. Black community leaders began to see a problem with the African
American youth and began to educate and promote social welfare amongst the community.
Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter, a member of the Slausons, recruited youth to fight against
police brutality instead of each other. The conflicts between African American inner city
gangs began to eradicate and they were evolving into a socially aware groups working
together against racism and police brutality.

Between 1965 and 1970 African American gangs united and became a political force against
racism. Several major organizations were created to promote unity amongst the black
community and keep track of social injustice against them, primarily police brutality. The
Black Panther Party (BPP) opened a chapter in Los Angeles, just after they began in
Oakland in 1966. A former member of the Slausons, Ron Wilkins, created the Community
Action Patrol (CAP) to keep track of how police treated African Americans. Ron "Maulana"
Karenga created the US Organizitation, which became one of the biggest groups and had a
large following from the Westside clubs. The black political organizations in Los Angeles
became stronger and stronger as the civil rights movement enthralled the nation.

The strength and political power of the African Americans was seen as a threat to local
and national security. The national government became concerned and formed
counterintelligence groups to combat the growing African American political influence. The
government used counterintelligence tactics to eradicate and destroy African American
organizations, with the Black Panther Party as its main target. These tactics, called
COINTELPRO, were previously used against the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), and the
Communist Party (CPUSA) during the 1950s and 1940s. Clearly, it was an all out war between
the government and African American leaders. The government was successful in stopping the
movement in Los Angeles.
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