South Brooklyn Boys
|Founding location||Brooklyn, New York, United States|
|Territory||South Brooklyn, Degraw Street, Union Street, 5th Street, Sackett Street, Bensonhurst|
|Ethnicity||Mostly Italian American|
|Criminal activities||Assault, drug trafficking, extortion, bookmaking and murder|
|Allies||Italian-American Mafia, Tanglewood Boys, Ozone Park Boys|
|Rivals||The Jokers, Untouchable Bishops, The Mau Maus, The Fort Green Chaplains, The West Street Boys, Supreme Team|
South Brooklyn Boys (abbreviated as SBB) is a famous New York City street gang. In the 1950s, various Italian-American gangs were formed in South Brooklyn, New York City, and came together under the moniker of "South Brooklyn Boys" sometime around the 1950s. The gang has a mostly Italian American membership.
At the time of its origin, SBB consisted of several smaller neighborhood greaser gangs that were located in the Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Park Slope, Red Hook and Boerum Hill sections of Brooklyn. Some of the gangs that made up the original South Brooklyn Boys were the South Brooklyn Devils, the Garfield Boys, the SB Angels, SB Diablos, the Wanderers, the Degraw St boys, the Sackett St Boys, the Butler Gents, the Gowanus Boys, the Kane St. Midgets, The Savages, The Testors, The Senators, The Little Gents, and the Young Savages. The label South Brooklyn Boys represented the loosely connected affiliation that all of these neighborhood gangs associated under.
In practice, these gangs often had bitter disputes and fought with each other. The main body, simply referred to as "South Brooklyn" by many, was located in and around the Red Hook Prolects, which back in the 1950s was predominately Italian. A small but fierce gang known as the "Jokers" was a bitter rival, led by a man known as "Cannonball." The two groups fought many times. The Jokers junior set was featured in Bruce Davidson's "Brooklyn Gang" book.
The 1962 book, All the Way Down: The Violent Underworld of Street Gangs by Vincent Riccio and Bill Slocum, featured real accounts of the Gowanus Boys. The gang was located in the Gowanus section of South Brooklyn, and was one of the earlier neighborhood crews that would evolve into the larger, loosely affiliated South Brooklyn Boys street gang.
Reputed Lucchese mobster Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso was a famous member of the early South Brooklyn Boys. The gang has been loosely affiliated with and has worked for the Italian-American Mafia throughout its history to the present, but it is not an official Mafia crew.
Since the 1970s, South Brooklyn Boys has represented not only the original 1950s gangs, but many generations of kids growing up in the South Brooklyn area, most specifically the Italian section of Carroll Gardens. The term has not only been used as a gang association, but also as a loosely connected affiliation for which many neighborhood kids felt a kinship. From the 1980s to the present, a new incarnation of the South Brooklyn Boys has been very active.
The South Brooklyn Boys consisted of 10 different gangs.
- South Brooklyn Angels
- The Savages
- The Wanderers (featured in the film The Wanderers)
- Degraw Street Boys (Degraw Street)-Cobble Hill
- Sackett Street Boys (Sackett Street )- Cobble Hill
- South Brooklyn Devils (Union Street and 4th Ave.)- Park Slope
- Garfield Place Boys (Garfield Place and 5th Street)- Park Slope
- Butler Street Gents (Butler Street and 9th Street from 4th Ave to 7th Ave)- Gowanus
- Gowanus Boys (Hoyt Street) - Gowanus
- Kane Street Midgets / Kane Street Boys (Kane Street) - Red Hook
- Little Gents (5th Avenue between Union Street & 9th Street)
- The West Street Boys(Avenue U) *The Avenue W Crew (Avenue W) *The Senators. (5thAve & Senator) *The Young Savages (49 St, 5 Av) *The Testors (33rd & 3rdAve)
- newyorkcitygangs.com, a website about New York City gangs from the 1950s
- stonegreasers.com, South Brooklyn Boys turf and history page