Black Spades

The Black Spades was one of the largest and most violent black street gangs in New York City during the 1970s. During its heyday, it reportedly had 29 chapters in The Bronx, Manhattan, and BrooklynFact|date=February 2007.


The Black Spades arose out of the Savage Seven because of the increasing number of members.

In the 1970s the various gangs had their own music. They walked ("bopped") around with a box radio blasting their favorite hits. For example, the 25th Division of the Black Spades (East 184th Street and Marion Avenue, in the Bronx) had "Fire" by the Ohio Players as their tune. The Black Spades used "Jungle Boogie." Every gang or crew in the 1970s had a song or musical group that they listened to as their "theme song."Fact|date=February 2007

The Black Spades were also participants in the Hoe Avenue peace meeting.

Decline of gangs and the rise of Hip Hop culture

New York street gang activity peaked in 1973, and then began to decline. Reasons for this decline included violence with other gangs, drug use, and members leaving simply because the gangs became too large.

Times were also changing, and block dance parties and clubs were becoming more popular. The beginnings of Hip hop culture began to form in these dance venues, and as gang members and former gang members started getting involved in more Hip Hop activities, involvement in the gangs declined.

Kool DJ Herc, an early Hip Hop music pioneer, credits gangs like the Black Spades with getting the Hip Hop scene started.

The Black Spades later became the Zulu Nation in the late 1970's, and then the Universal Zulu Nation, in the 1980's.

ee also

*Hip hop culture
*Hip hop music
*Universal Zulu Nation


Additional sources

*Campus, Michael (Director, 1974) "The Education of Sonny Carson" (Motion picture, 104 mins.) "NOTE: Film was based on Sonny Carson's autobiography, "The Education of Sonny Carson". Facts should be checked to make sure they weren't changed from the book to the film adaptation, and reference them instead."

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