The Black Disciples were started in the year 1960 by David Barksdale. The story begins on May 24, 1947 when David Barksdale was born in a small Mississippi town called Sallis. His full name was “Donise David Barksdale.” He was given birth by Virginia Barksdale and Charlie Barksdale. The family moved to Chicago in 1957 and within 3 years Barksdale would become a famous gang leader. In 1960 the BDs were known as the Devil;s Disciples. The Devil’s Disciples were started on the corner of 53rd and Kimbark, then they spread from between the corner of 53rd and Woodlawn and the corner of 49th St. and Dorchester in 1960. Don Derky was also a co-founder of the Black Disciples and Barksdale’s closest associate. The symbols for the Disciples were the devil’s horns, devil tail. And a pitchfork which was adopted in 1960, this is where the GDs get these symbols from. In the early 1960s, Barksdale began to gain a reputation and recognition and became feared and respected by other gangs in the neighborhood. By 1963 the Disciples had gained a massive amount of recruitment that angered such gangs as the Black Stone Rangers. In about 1966 Barksdale absorbed up other area street gangs and created the Black Disciple Nation which consisted of the following gangs: Devil’s Disciples, Devit’s Disciples, Falcon Disciples, Royal Disciples, Renegade Disciples, Executioner Disciples, Boss Pimp disciples, East Side Disciples, Sircon Disciples, Motown Disciples, Dutchtown Disciples, Gonzato Disciples, Six-Tray Disciples, Maniac Disciples and four-Tray Disciples. Also during this period of time, David Barksdale controlled the Del Vikings, the Black Souls, and the West Side Cobras.
Within a short amount of time the Devil’s Disciples began to war with the Black Stone Rangers. The Rangers were growing in power rapidly, this was one main reason Barksdale formed the Disciple Nation. In order to get money Barksdale set up fundraising parties on the corner of 63rd and Maryland. The money raised was to be used for the Nation’s illegal activities. Around this time Larry Hoover was leading the Supreme Gangsters and created the Gangster Nation. Both gangs were trying to grow into power and control the Englewood streets; therefore, they began to war with each other. Mainly it was a three way war between the Black Disciple Nation and the Gangster Nation and the Black Stone Rangers. In the year 1968, Eugene Hairston who was the founder the second in command of the Black Stones ordered six 14 year old Stones to kill David Barksdale for a dollar a piece. As Barksdale was exiting a bar one night, the six Rangers shot Barksdale six times; however, Barksdale survived the attack and continued to run the Disciples. Hairston was charged with solicitation of murder and sentenced to 5-15 years in prison. After massive amounts of war between the BDs and the Gangster Nation, Barksdale felt that the warring between the BDs and the Gangsters was not a positive thing; Therefore, he offered a peaceful merger with 18 year old Larry Hoover in January of 1969. Hoover accepted the offer in that month and the Black Gangsters Disciples Nation was born.
The BGDN was in direct opposition to the rival Black Stone Ranger alliance. The new formation of BGDN began what was called The era of Kings making Barksdale “King” of the streets. The new BGD symbol would then become the six point star that symbolized the biblical story of King David of the Jews; therefore, Barksdale being a King David used the six point star. Up until 1978, the six point star was only a BGD symbol until it was used to symbolize “FOLKS”. King David Barksdale became the President of the BGDN and Larry The Chairmen Hoover became chairmen or Vice President of the BGDN. On September 2, 1974 David Barksdale passed away from kidney failure as a result of the 1968 attack on him. All throughout Barksdale’s adult life as gang leader from 1965-1974 he was only arrested on petty crimes with no felonies. From 1965 until 1974 Barksdale was arrested about 25 times and only charged for some of those crimes ( this does not include his juvenile record from 1960-1964 which were his early years leading the Disciples). During many arrests, Barksdale went by the alias of “David Jones.”
After Barksdale’s death Jerome Shorty Freeman broke away from the BGDN alliance and recreated the Black Disciples this time as a gang and not an alliance like BD was in the 1960s. Larry Hoover then made the BGDs a gang as well and not an alliance. In 1978 Larry Hoover founded the Folk Nation which was an alliance of about 12 street gangs in Chicago (in the late 70s there 12 by the end of the early 80s there were several more). Jerome Freeman immediately joined the Folk Nation in 1978 and continued ties between BGD and BD.
Throughout the 1980s the BDs were much smaller than the BGDs, and they operated on a much smaller scale than the BGDs. The BDs ties with BGDs were mostly solid. In 1991 this solid alliance would be shattered when in the summer of 91 there were a series of shootings that involved BGDs and BDs shooting at each other and there were loses on both sides. In that same year the BGDs became the Gangsters Disciples (GDs) instead of the Black Gangsters Disciples. The shootings sparked a war between GDs and BDs in many areas of the city. In that same year, Jerome Freeman was sent to prison on drug charges. The wars between GD and BD worsened in the 1990s. By the mid-90s the BDs began to grow in numbers rapidly and gaining new territory within Roseland and Washington Park. There were many cases of GDs flipping (changing gangs) from GD to BD. Also the BDs began to show the pitchfork in their tags less and less, they began to paint it upside down in many parts of the city, this just showed how GD and BD alliance was dissolving. There are still parts of the city were BDs and GDs share territory and get along. There are also periods of time were the two gangs will form temporary truces either within the whole nations are just within certain territories.
The BDs later expanded territory even further into Morgan Park, Park Manor, Altgeld Gardens, the ABLA homes, and they were in the recently demolished Robert Taylor Homes. In the year 2000 Jerome Freeman announced his retirement from the BDs making Marvell Thompson the leader. He was arrested in 2004 along with other high ranking BDs after an FBI investigation.
Near the year 2000, a new group of BDs formed called the “Blue Five Black Disciples.” The group was founded by Marvell Thompson who is also said to be the leader of the entire BDN right after Freeman stepped down. It is rumored that Freeman stepped down because of Thompson and the Blue Fives. It is also said that Marvell is not in charge of the BDN but only the Blue Fives. The Blue Fives were formed around 2000 and broke away from the Folk nation and later joined the People nation alliance. They also adopted the People nation bylaws including the five point star. The Blue Fives are at war with GDs, and Folk BDs. The main allies of Blue Fives are the Mickey Cobras.
HISTORY WRITTEN BY ZOOK