This exposé investigates the evolution of the Almighty Black P Stone Nation, a motley group of poverty-stricken teens transformed into a dominant gang accused of terroristic intentions. Interwoven into the narrative is the dynamic influence of leader Jeff Fort, who—despite his flamboyance and high visibility—instilled a rigid structure and discipline that afforded the young men a refuge and a sense of purpose in an often hopeless community. Details of how the Nation procured government funding for gang-related projects during the War on Poverty era and fueled bonuses and job security for law enforcement, and how Fort, in particular, masterminded a deal for $2.5 million to commit acts of terrorism in the United States on behalf of Libya are also revealed. In examining whether the Black P Stone Nation was a group of criminals, brainwashed terrorists, victims of their circumstances, or champions of social change, this social history provides an exploration of how and why gangs flourish and insight into the way in which minority crime is targeted in the community, reported in the media, and prosecuted in the courts.
This fascinating account of the notorious Chicago gang dissects not only gang culture but America's convoluted approach to the "war on terror." Moore and Williams, a professor at Northeastern Illinois University and youth advocate, trace the gang's history from its earliest incarnation as the Blackstone Rangers, organized in the early 1960s by Jeff Fort and Eugene "Bull" Hairston in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood. The gang was drawn to black nationalism and courted by the Black Panthers and members of the civil rights movement, but refused to adhere to others' agenda. After a 1976 prison stint, Fort discovered Islam, restructured the Stones into the El Ruckns, and became linked with the Nation of Islam. The FBI, which had long been on the gang's tail, pounced on an opportunity to arrest Fort on domestic terrorism charges. He was convicted and sentenced to 80 years. Moore and Williams present a compelling account of the evolution of one of America's largest gangs as an illustration of the dangers of government efforts to frame gang activity as terrorism. \n