Map and Breakdown of Chicago Gangs Areas
From the Chicago hoods of the South Side to the areas where Chicago gangs roam on the West Side to the heart of the Chicago ghetto areas of the North and East sides, this map breaks down the background and history of almost every Chicago hood and community while giving a tour through the streets of the urban sections of the city.
Chicago Gangs Map Key: Red = Black P. Stones | Dark Blue = Gangster Disciples | Light Blue = Black and Maniac Latin Disciples | Green = Mickey Cobras and Spanish Cobras | Gold = Vice Lords and Latin Kings
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Chicago Hoods: South Side
Before the rise of Chicago gangs there was only a small black presence on the city’s South Side. Originally, the South Side was a place for the city’s white population, but after urban renewal of the city’s historic black community of Bronzeville, or known locally as the Low Ends, with the placement of housing projects and the Dan Ryan (Interstate 90 / Interstate 94) thousands of residents were displaced into the South Side during the 1960s and 1970s.
The black community began to expand first into neighborhoods like Englewood and Back of the Yards, then followed by communities like Auburn Gresham, 95th Street, and Roseland and West Pullman, which both would become known as the Wild Hundreds, an area that became a hotbed for Chicago gangs.
The South Side also has a long history of Chicago gangs. In Englewood, the Gangster Disciples were created on South Green as the Supreme Gangsters. The Back of the Yards neighborhood once consisted of all-white and mixed gangs, like the Gaylords and the Renegade Saints. While in the South Side Chicago hoods along 83rd, 87th, and 95th streets the Black P. Stones have had a dominant presence since the 1970s.
Chicago Hoods: West Side
From the Vice Lords, to Gangster Disciples, to the Four Corner Hustlers, to the New Breeds and the Black Souls, the West Side might not have received the recognition from the media as the South Side, but within the streets of the Chicago ghetto there is little difference between either side as this section of the city is the birthplace of numerous Chicago gangs.
With the destruction to Chicago’s original black community of the Low Ends’ Bronzeville community, as well the black community of the Near West Side, the black population relocated into the heart of the West Side. Starting along Madison in East Garfield Park, the community would eventually make its way into North Lawndale and West Garfield Park, followed by the Austin neighborhood by the 1970s and 1980s.
Chicago gangs of the West Side date back to the 1950s and 1960s. Gangs were originally created for needed protection from other races as the newly arrived African Americans were constantly abused and mistreated, but would later become involved in local politics and efforts to better the community. One of the largest gangs in the country are the Vice Lords, who originally began during the 1950s in Illinois juvenile facilities before starting their foundation in North Lawndale.
Chicago Hoods: East Side
From State to the Lake, the saying that refers to the East Side of Chicago, meaning the boundaries of the East Side expand from State Street to Lake Michigan. There are multiple Chicago gangs on the East Side, like the Gangster Disciples, Four Corner Hustlers, Black Disciples, and various Vice Lord factions, but the most known has been the Almighty Black P. Stone Nation.
On the corner of 67th and Blackstone the Almighty Black P. Stone Nation began as the Blackstone Rangers in the Woodlawn neighborhood. With leaders Jeff Fort and Eugene Bull Hairston the movement of the ABPSN would expand throughout the Low Ends, the East Side, the South Side, as well small sections of the West Side, and even in certain cities well outside of Chicagoland. The growth of the Black P. Stones also led to spinoff gangs, like the Titanic Stones, Maniac Stones, or Mickey Cobras.
Outside of the Black P. Stones, Chicago gangs of the Gangster Disciples and Black Disciples, who started out as the Devil Disciples around 53rd and Woodlawn, hold much of a presence on the city’s East Side, especially around King Drive, Cottage Grove, and in South Shore.
Chicago Hoods: North Side
When it comes to the North Side Chicago ghetto areas, outside of one of the country’s once most notorious housing project of Cabrini Green, much is not known about the North Side. From Cabrini Green and Marshall Field, to the sections of the city known as the North Pole there are numerous Hispanic and black Chicago gangs and hoods on the North Side.
Today, after the demolishing of Cabrini Green, the main hood of the Near North Side is the Marshall Field apartment complex. The section of the North Side that is known as the North Pole, from Rogers Park to the Uptown neighborhood, is a large diverse community of African Americans and Latinos who have been either displaced from or relocated from other Chicago neighborhoods and have been making their way into the far North Side since the 1970s and 1980s.
Chicago Hoods: Latino Community
With prominent Latino Chicago gangs of the Latin Kings, Satan Disciples, Maniac Latin Disciples, Spanish Cobras, and Gangster Two Six, the Hispanic community of both Mexicans and Puerto Ricans have many similarities to the city’s black population.
The Mexican community began in the Pilsen and Back of the Yards neighborhoods, after relocating into Chicago as early as the 1910s. Urban renewal in Pilsen and the closing of the Stockyards in the Back of the Yards neighborhood led the Latino population to expand into Little Village and Cicero by the 1960s and 1970s and continuing into areas like Gage Park by the 1980s.
Like other Chicago gangs, Mexican gangs were started due to the fight against other racist gangs as Mexicans were moving into predominantly white neighborhoods. In Pilsen, there were gangs like the Ambrose, the Bishops, the Satan Disciples, and the La Raza. While in Little Village, the first and largest gang was the Gangster 2-6 who gained members due to their dislike towards Latin Kings who came from other sections of the city.
During the 1950s, Puerto Ricans began to arrive in the city of Chicago. Most resided in Humboldt Park with Division Street being the heart of the neighborhood. As more and more Puerto Ricans arrived the population expanded to over 100,000 by the 1980s into neighborhoods like Logan Square, Belmont Cragin, and Hermosa.
The population increase caused problems during the 1950s and 1960s with other races of the neighborhoods. As a form of protection from white gangs, Puerto Ricans gangs were created due to the harassment they were receiving. This eventually created the Latin Kings on Spaulding Ave., the Maniac Latin Disciples around N. Rockwell, the Spanish Cobras along Campbell Ave., and the Insane Albany Orchestra and the Imperial Gangsters in the Logan Square area.