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Black Disciples

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Black Disciples
Founded1966; 54 years ago (1966)[1]
Founded byDavid Barksdale[1]
Founding locationChicago, Illinois, U.S.
Years active1966–present[1]
Criminal activities

The Black Disciples (often abbreviated as BDN, BDN III, BD's) is a large street gang based in Chicago, Illinois. The founders of the Black Disciples came with the intention of creating an organization to help fight civil rights injustices and prevent bullying from caucasian gangs. These intentions took a turn in the opposite direction as the gangs are now infamous for notorious acts. These acts include murder, robbery, theft, kidnapping, and more. The gang received news coverage after the murder of 11-year-old Robert Sandifer.[3]


In 1958, a group of young teenagers from Hyde Park, Englewood, and Kenwood came together as friends to create an alliance to combat their enemies.[4]. The founders, Richard Strong, David Barksdale, Mingo Shread, Prince Old Timer, Kilroy, Leonard Longstreet, Night Walker and more named their new organization the “Devil’s Disciples” with inspiration from the Bible. By the beginning of 1961 David Barksdale, also known as “King David”, took sole leadership of the Devils Disciples and appointed different members to oversee different areas of neighborhoods.[5] Barksdale’s goal was to claim small gangs around the area and turn them into factions of the Disciples. In 1966 to help increase recruitment and counteract threats of other gangs David Barksdale created the “Black Disciples Nation” which helped increased recruitment into the thousands.[5] In 1969, Larry Hoover, the leader of the rival gang “Black Stones P”, agreed to a merger with Barksdale to create a unified gang called “Black Gangster Disciples nation”.[5] This made both David and Larry “Kings” therefore the name “King David” came about. Soon after the alliance Larry Hoover was charged and convicted along with another member for murdering a member and received 150-200 years in prison.[5] With Larry in Prison, King David was fully in charge of the gang but later died due to Kidney complications at the age of 27 on September 2nd, 1974.[2] The death of King David led to problems within the Black Gangster Disciple Nation.[5] The majority of the B.G.D.N believed in coming more unified after the passing of King David but some Disciples did not want that. This led to the creation of the “Black Gangsters Disciples” and the “Black Disciples”.[5] This brought about a rivalry between these two gangs as there was bloodshed in the streets immediately after they were created.[5] Mickey Bull took over the Black Disciples and made peace with the Gangster Disciples. This reduced the bloodshed in the streets until Mickey Bull was murdered in the streets by Gangster Disciples during August of 1991.[5] This caused immediate backlash from Black Disciples as they went on a rampage and killed three Gangster Disciples on August the 7th.[5] Between 1991 and 1994 the rivalry between the Gangster Disciples and Black Disciples became more intense. The rivalry came to an end with the stepping in of Marvell Thompson.[5]

Murder of Yummy[edit]

Robert “Yummy” Sandifer joined the Black Disciples in 1994 at the age of 11 years old.[5] He was given a 9mm semiautomatic pistol by his gang chief and was sent out to kill some rival gang members.[2] While aiming for his rivals a stray bullet from Yummy’s gun hit and killed 14-year-old pedestrian Shavon Dean.[2] This brought much-unwanted attention to the Black Disciples from local and national news.[2] The gang leader set out two brothers Derrick Hardaway and Cragg Hardaway to get rid of Yummy.[2] The two brothers lured Yummy into an underpass and shot him in the back of his head twice.[5] They were later convicted of murder and more attention was brought upon the Black Disciples despite their efforts to cover it up.[5]

Gang structure[edit]

The Black Disciples has over 300 sets with around 30 to 40 members in each set.[6] The highest-ranking leadership role is “King Shorty”. Permanent Leadership ranks also include the Minister, Assistant Co-Minister, and the Demetrius. The lowest ranking positions are the soldiers and representatives.

Popular members[edit]

Keith Cozart, also known as "Chief Keef", is a member of a faction of the Black Disciples.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Knox, George W., Ph.D (2008). "The Impact of the Federal Prosecution of the Gangster Disciples". National Gang Crime Research Center. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j George Knox, Ph.D. (2004). "Gang Threat Analysis: The Black Disciples". National Gang Crime Research Center. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  3. ^ "Robert Sandifer: A tale of two yummy's". Riotsound. June 2016. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  4. ^ ""
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Cite error: The named reference was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
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