Bastards of the Party

Posted in: Gangs, Society

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Raised in the Athens Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, Cle “Bone” Sloan was four years old when his father died, and 12 when he became a member of the Bloods. Now an inactive member of the notorious gang, Sloan looks back at the history of black gangs in his city and makes a powerful call for change in modern gang culture with his insightful documentary, Bastards of the Party.

Bastards of the Party draws its title from this passage in “City of Quartz”: “The Crips and the Bloods are the bastard offspring of the political parties of the ’60s. Most of the gangs were born out of the demise of those parties. Out of the ashes of the Black Panther Party came the Crips and the Bloods and the other gangs.” Bastards of the Party traces the timeline from that “great migration” to the rise and demise of both the Black Panther Party and the US Organization in the mid- 1960s, to the formation of what is currently the culture of gangs in Los Angeles and around the world.

The documentary also chronicles the role of the Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI in the evolution of gang culture. During his tenure from 1950 to 1966, Chief Robert Parker bolstered the ranks of the LAPD with white recruits from the south, who brought their racist attitudes with them. Parker’s racist sympathies laid the groundwork for the volatile relationship between the black community and the LAPD that persists today.

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