ArkansasCity Stories

Still Bangin’ (The Little Rock Story)

Still Bangin’ (Gangs in Arkansas’ Little Rock)

By the 1980s and 1990s Little Rock gangs began to become active in a new form, a form of Little Rock Blood sets and Little Rock Crip sets, along with Chicago gangs of Gangster and Black Disciples.

A name that constantly stands with the arrival of Little Rock gangs is L.A. Moe, as the already popularity of Los Angeles’ gang culture through media and entertainment helped the establishment of gangs in the city, along with their drug connections.

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Madison Heights, the rebuilt complex of the once infamous Highland Park or Highland Court Projects.

Eventually, most of the city became Little Rock Blood sets like John Barrow aka Lime Hood, the West End home to the once Highland Park projects, the South End, and one of the city’s roughest areas the East End.

Some of the only areas that had Little Rock Crip sets were College Station, also known as CSC or BuccTown, and 23rd and Wolfe Street Crips.

According to some, despite the Crips being out numbered they were the ones with the most power as they had the connections to the city’s drug trade.

In the streets of the North Little Rock ghetto, which has neighborhoods like Eastgate, Off Pike, or Shorter Gardens, ‘hoods had affiliations of the Black Disciples and the Gangsta Disciples.

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Days before Bangin’ in Little Rock

During the 1950s, as Jim Crow laws were slowly coming to an end, Little Rock was starting the process of ending segregation, even though many people, including public officials, did their best to prevent African-Americans from going to school or living in the city’s white community.

Before integration, city’s black community was mostly based in the East End and parts of the South End, mostly east of today’s Doctor Martin Luther King Drive.

When construction was booming around the city of Little Rock, the inner city of Little Rock started to become predominantly black as white flight was moving people, businesses, and a tax base towards West Little Rock.

By the 1970s and 80s, most of the neighborhoods in Little Rock’s West End, South End, and North Little Rock were mostly home to the city’s black population.

The East End

Urban renewal changed much of the East End with the development of housing projects, mainly on the outskirts of the city limits, and the destruction of multiple black communities due to urban renewal construction of I-630 and I-30.

Generations later, Little Rock gangs of the Bloods took over the streets of the East End, which became home to Brick Jungle and the once Hollingsworth project, Folsom block, DitchSide, Hillside around Calhoun Street, Cheatham Park and Hanger Hill.

The East End’s Hanger Hill neighborhood

One of the most known ‘hoods of the East Side is a small rural community known locally as BuccTown, aka College Station, which was one of the only Crip neighborhoods in the city that gained reputation during the 1980s and 1990s.

Today, the original community of the East Side or East End, has had half of its community demolished with the airport expansion and the rebuilding of housing projects like the old Granite Mountain Projects, also known as GMP or G Mountain.

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North Little Rock

The city of North Little Rock began growing between the 1940s and 1960s, while officially becoming a city that separated itself from the larger city of Little Rock during the early 1900s.

The original black community of North Little Rock was east of I-30, with some of the first communities being Dixie or Rose City, around Broadway and Lynch.

North Little Rock’s Dixie neighborhood

During the 1960s and 1970s, the black community expanded into other parts of North Little Rock, especially around Pike Avenue or Camp Robinson Road.

By the 1990s, Gangster and Black Disciples affiliations grew from ‘hood to ‘hood, ‘hoods like housing projects of Shorter Gardens, Eastgate, and Hemlock Courts or areas like Washington Avenue, Rose City and Dixie, all representing the DTA section of NLR.

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Eastgate Terrace of North Little Rock

In the UPT section of North Little Rock, Off Pike represents most of the area, along with WinTown and the Windmere projects, SCC or Silver City Courts, as well ‘hoods around Main Street and Levy or L Town along Camp Robinson Road.

Today’s Bangin’ in Little Rock

While the 1980s brought the likes of the Bloods in ‘hoods like Highland Park, which was one of the first areas to have a gang affiliation, much has changed since.

With some people still being affiliated to gangs in the Little Rock ghetto, gang activity has become less active in recent years, which started by the beginning of the 2000s, but the streets of Little Rock have kept their reputation.

Despite Little Rock gangs not being the same as the 1980s and 1990s, a new generation of Little Rock gangs have taken shape as Bloods and Crips have become more commercialized and popularized by the internet and today’s rap culture.

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The John Barrow community of Little Rock’s West End

Currently, the urban community and its residents is moving farther from the central part of Little Rock into areas and sections of the West Side, like John Barrow, or Southwest Little Rock, from 65th to Mabelvale Road.

Gangs in Arkansas are still alive in the city, but more and more people are exiting the streets for a better and more reasonable life instead of the life of the constant unknown.

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*Note: All information is provided through people of the community, outside sources, and research. Some information might not be current and/or 100% accurate