The Black Guerilla Family Has A History Worth Knowing

people holding banner that says abolish all prisons
Adé Hennis
May 16, 2024

In 1960, Black males were five times more likely to be incarcerated by the corrupt prison system in the US. Seven years later, a group of individuals in a California prison started a revolutionary movement.

The Black Guerilla Family is now known as a violent gang but began as a brotherhood. As the prison arm of the Black Power Movement, members of the Family learned how to protect themselves from inmates and prison guards. They also formed smaller groups to study and discuss the revolutionary theories of Mao and Marx.

The Black Guerilla Family formed in Soledad Prison. The Black prisoners treated each other like family. When two of the founders were murdered by police within months of each other, the result was a massive prison rebellion at upstate New York’s Attica Correctional Facility.

The Black Guerilla Family’s attempts at prison system reform will never be forgotten, no matter how much the system may want to neutralize its history.

The Black Guerilla Family’s origins show the strength and resilience of the Black community, even when its members are behind bars.  When we unite to demand justice, nothing can stop us.