Around the 1960’s a youth group known as “Black Stone Rangers” transformed into a criminal gang. The leader of the ‘Black P. Stone Rangers’, Jeff Fort, formed an alliance with numerous other gang leaders in the area and renamed the gang to “Black P. Stones”. The new gang was controlled by a 21 member council, and was projected as an uplifting group trying to help the community. They soon applied for a 1.4 million federal grant to help the community which they received. Investigators would later lean that the money wasn't used for its intended purposes; it was actually used to support the gang’s illegal activities. Jeff Fort, the leader of the gang, was soon brought to trial and sent to federal prison.
Gangs that were not part of the Black P. Stone Nation decided to mimic their strategy by forming strong alliances with other gangs. Two powerful gangs, the Black Disciples led by David Barksdale, and the Supreme Gangsters led by Larry Hoover, decided to form an alliance that would be known as the “Black Gangster Disciple Nation”. Throughout most of the 1970s, the ‘Black P. Stone Nation’ and the ‘Black Gangster Disciples’ controlled the majority of Chicago’s drug trade, which led them to become bitter enemies.
As time went on, many of the gang’s leaders were sent to jail. Due to the growing number of individual gangs in the system, the gangs started separating into alliances. The Folk Nation alliance was born in November 11, 1978 in the Illinois Department of Correction. The alliance was formed by Larry Hoover persuading other gangs, regardless of color, to become part of the alliance. Two major gangs in the Folk Nation alliance are the Black Disciples and the Gangster Disciples. As a response to the Folk Nation alliance, other gangs soon formed the People Nation to rival the Folks.
The majority of gangs that are part of the Folk Nation alliance are black and Hispanic. Though those two groups make up the majority, race is not a factor when joining the alliance; the alliance also has white gangs as well as other ethnic groups. The age of the alliance members vary, there is no age restriction, though the majority of members are in their teens and upper 20’s.
Members of the Folk Nation alliance have numerous codes, symbols, tattoos used to demonstrate their allegiance to the alliance. The different symbols of the Folks Nation alliance are not exclusive to the alliance, some of them were taken from gangs that were original members of the alliance such as the 6 point star which was already being used by the Gangster Disciples.
Members of the Folks Nation alliance identify themselves to the right. This mean that if they are wearing any bandannas, they will wear it on the right side, such as the right back pocket, their right legs, or right shoulder. If they have any piercings, it will be on their right side, such as their right ear. If they’re wearing hats, it will be tilted to the right side. Gangs often wear sports gear that have meaning to their gangs, either through name or symbols; Folks Nation often wear the Oakland Raiders gears, because raiders stand for one their acronym meaning “ruthless ass Insane Disciples ever ruled the streets”.
The tattoos that represent the Folks Nation are the winged heart, devil’s horns, a devil’s tail, dice, the number 6, backwards swastikas, a bunny head with bent ears, a sword, a pitchfork, and a six-point star (Star of David). The 6 point of the star stands for love, loyalty, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. The winged heart symbol means love for the gang. The pitchfork means strength carried by the devil. The devil’s horn means courage, while the Devil’s tail means strength.
The Folks nation has numerous philosophies, one of them is “All for One, One for All” which means if any gang member is under assault, any and all gang members in the area are required to help them out. Other terminologies include ”All is Well”, “All is All”, “I will not let my brother fall to a knee”.
Members of the Folks Nation disrespects rivals in numerous ways such as:
- Striking through rival’s graffiti, or painting an enemy’s symbol upside down.
- Making a rival’s symbol with their hand and turning it upside down, or crossing it out with another finger.
- Breaking a rival’s symbol (Such as cracking treys).
- The People Nation, a rival of the folk nation use the 5 Point star instead of the 6 point star, thus creating the saying “6 poppin, 5 droppin”.
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