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Gangster Disciples
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The Gangster Disciples is an African American gang with national presence. In the last several decades it has made a name for itself as being one of the four most violent gangs in Chicago. The Gangster Disciples are known to be active in 35 states. Several of its members are known to be active and retired military. The gang is well known for the distribution of narcotics and white collar crimes.
Symbolism plays a large part in the Gangster Disciples’ culture. The primary symbol with which the gang associates is a six-pointed star. Resembling the Star of David, the intent of this symbol is to honor founder David Barksdale. The respective points on the star each represent Life, Love, Loyalty, Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding.

A pair of three-pointed pitchforks is also a symbol commonly associated with the Gangster Disciples. The total of six points on the pitchforks is also meant to resemble the Star of David.

Graffiti that contains a heart with wings, an inverted shepherd’s cane, an inverted pyramid, or an inverted cross are also known identifiers of the Gangster Disciples.

Blue and black are the colors with which the gang identifies.
The vast majority of the Gangster Disciples are of African American descent. There is an application form and a background check conducted that investigates each aspiring member. Although convicted male offenders control the gang’s activities, females are not excluded and are often treated as equals by male members. Male members and female members are referred to as “Brothers of the Struggle” and “Sisters of the Struggle”.

The structure of the Gangster Disciples is documented as a “centralized authoritarian formal organization,” with formal codes, a constitution, and memos are all part of the gang’s activities.
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