Black Guerilla Family: Prison Gang Profile
The BGF were allegedly the first California gang, formed in 1966
Quentin Penitentiary by prison revolutionary George Jackson,
and his "Black Family." The organization had many roots
in the Black Panthers.
The Black Guerilla Family resides predominantly in Southern California,
Los Angeles, and San Francisco, but stretches across California
as well as much of the United States. They are also known to use
prison members of the KUMI 415 Nation as primary enforcers.
The BGF have been identified by crossed sabers, machetes, rifles
and shotguns as common tattoos, as well as an image of a black dragon
overtaking a prison, a prison tower or prison guard.
The Black Guerilla Family has an ideological doctrine that considers
all blacks political prisoners, and has attempted to organized black
advocacy by the imposition of their commands upon other inmates.
Members hold cultural unity, group protection and the promotion
of armed revolution above all else. They have followed readings
such as George Jackson's Prison Letters and The Anarchist Cook
Book, as well as various works from Mao Zedong, Eldridge, Ho
Chi Minh, and Malcom X.
While the Black Guerrilla Family declined in the 1990s, the gang
recently began to rebuild its membership, recruiting black street
gangs in the 415
Kumi Nation, the Crips
and the Bloods.
The BGF is para-military in structure, adhering to the Marxist
political ideologies of Mao Zedong. The gang is also considered
to be the prison counterpart of the Black Liberation Army, a "violent
leftist gang whose members were involved in a bloody October 1981
armored car robbery in Nanuet, N.Y" (San Francisco Chronicle
18 March 1985)
Recruitment requires the new member to subsribe to a "death
oath" to the Family.
The Family has also been allied with the Nuestra
Familia in the past, but has been largely at war with the Mexican
Mafia and Aryan Brotherhood.