A gang is said to be a group of three or more people who engage in criminal activities and identify themselves with a common name or sign(National Criminal Justice Reference Service). Many people join gangs for a number of reasons anything from protection or just a sense of brother or sister hood.
People join for identity of recognition which means without the gang that person might feel worthless and impossible, for protection, fellowship and brotherhood that they many not receive at home, intimidation and the feeling of being better and bigger than another person, and for the criminal activity or drug use but in the 60s that wasn’t the case for the Bloods and the Crips. Bloods and Crips were originally started to protect their neighborhoods from police, together they were a team not enemies but later down the road that would soon change.
In the late 1960s in Los Angeles specifically Compton’s well known dangerous gangs would be formed, the Crips. This group was not always as dangerous and well gang bangers as they are today. This organization was being modeled and shaped after the historical group known as the Black Panther Party that was formed 3 years before the creations of the crips by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. The Black Panther Party was formed as a revolutionary Black nationalist and socialist organization active in the United States(Wikipedia), the Crips wanted to follow this path.
Crips were trying to create against the Los Angeles police for the lack of politician that they were giving them. “Crippin is a choice, but it is forever. You may slow down, but you will always be down forever. Crips stood for Community resources for independent people but as time went on it seems like the meaning has changed. The crips were formed by Raymond Washington and Stanley Tookie Williams, two young Los Angeles High school students who had started the making of the local street gang called the “Baby Avenues”.
At first the Crips were trying to create against the Los Angeles police for the lack of politician that they were giving them but later their motive seemed to change. Along with the Crips another group located in the same area of Los Angeles would be trying to do the same thing, this group was named the Bloods. Bloods stands for Brotherly Love Overcome Our Depression. The Bloods are a well known African American gang that was founded by Sylvester Scott and Vincent Owens, who were students at Centennial High School in Compton, California.
Like the Crips who had “Baby Avenues”, Owens created and established the West Piru Street Gang which was located on Piru Street in Compton. “Ash to ash, dust to dust, bloods I trust; crabs we bust, kill a crab, win a prize; kill a blood your whole family dies. ” This is the model that a blood member goes by. The Crip and Blood gang rivalry would become known as the biggest, longest, and most dangerous rivalry. In the 1970s when the Crips started to grow in larger numbers they would start to target and create attacks on different gang members in the area.
Together many gangs started to join forces in order to protect themselves from the outnumbering Crip members. The Piru Street Boys along with other gang members did an attack and revolt against the Crips, but later and silently turn into what we know as the Blood Gang in the 1972. As the years went on the Bloods continued to add members to their gang and fight to protect themselves from the Crips but always found themselves overpowered by the number of Crips.
The Bloods and the Crips both wear specific colors to avoid confusion among gang members. Blood Members normally identify each member by color, clothing, symbols, tattoos, jewelry, hand signals, language, and graffiti. Lucky for the Bloods, their school, Centennial High School colors were red so they come get away with representing their gang at school by wearing Red Bandannas or Rags. From time to time the Bloods could also be identified by wearing green for the set Lime Hood Pirus.
The Bloods were also known o wear sport clothings and their favorite sports teams whose colors were also red, San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Bulls and also the Dallas Cowboys clothings because it had the logo of the five pointed star that represented them. On the other hand, the Crips were commonly known for wearing the color blue, which also came from their school, Washington High School colors. Crips would also wear their bandanas in their left pocket, their ear rings on their left ear, and titled their hats to the left side.
Many of the members wore shoelaces, hair rollers, and sweatshirts. The Crips would also come up with a dance that America would soon know to be the “Crip Walk”. Like the Crips the Bloods would do the same but on the opposite side, to the right. Both the groups were very protective and territorial of their group members so having specific colors to created a sense a uniform was essential and mandatory. Bloods and Crips each lived a different type of lifestyle and had their own way of doing things. The Bloods and Crips never really seemed to have respect for each other.
The Bloods would refer to the Crips as “Carbs” and The Crips would refers to the “Slobs”. The Bloods are represented by a five pointed star that stands for love, truth, peace, freedom, and justice. The Crips are represented by a six pointed star standing for love, unity, money, loyalty, wisdom, and understanding. Blood gang used gang graffiti to mark their territory and show that they had been present. In many of their graffitis it contains gang member names, symbols, their loyalty to other members, or any criminal activity that had been performed.
Blood members would approach another member of the gang by saying “blood”,”wuz up blood’, or “yo blood” and would cross out the Cout of everything. While Crips would cross the B out of everything and replace it with C and pronounce it that way. The Crips would talk to other members by saying “cuzz” and “blood kids”. Although the Crips and Bloods were two different groups they both did some of the same things. Both the Bloods and Crips were first formed to be a primary African American group but as the years went on both the groups became to become more diverse.
Although both the groups started off as larger groups in the late 1970s they started to become smaller and forming “sets”. These sets would soon start claiming territory in a number of places in the Los Angeles area and from that point on things would begin to get bloody, deadly, and ferocious within the each gang territories. By the time the 1980s came around almost thirty thousand or more would belong to either The Crips or The Blood gang and all found themselves living in the Los Angeles area.
Members of the gang started from ages a young as thirteen and as old as the mid thirties and in order to be officially entered into the group perform a specific action that would consider them worthy. These actions could be anything from fighting an existing member, kill another member in a different or rival gang or commit a crime in certain neighborhoods for either a small period or time or a long time. Once a member always a member unless you betray a member or the gang itself. At the start 80s the violence between the two groups was at its highest.
Both the groups were involved with drug trafficking, more specifically crack which was formerly known as rock cocaine. Rock cocaine was cheap and way more addictive than the powder form of the drug, meaning that buyers would get addicted and continue to buy from members which would in the end members gaining an overload amount of money. Due to the fact that both of groups were selling this started to led to problems within the groups and caused many members to start expanding their territory.
The Blood gang members would start relocating to the West Coast to meet the demands of the narcotics and stopped wearing clothings that made them stand out in order to avoid the law because the act that they were performing was in fact illegal. As the gang members started to move all over the into various cities the amount of drug selling and violence moved along with them. Throughout the United States we have number of gangs that police forces encounter and crack down on everyday but The Crips and The Bloods have always had a special spot light.
To many people both The Crips and The Bloods were a dangerous and horrible group that created nothing but problems but to the members of the group it was their safe place and the closest thing to home or for many their only home or family. The Crips and the Bloods in present day have slowed down and been a lot quieter since the start of both their gangs. People join gangs for a number of reasons and sometimes not always for the violence or drugs but for a sense of protection and feeling like they’re a part of something.