I have been doing research on youth gangs from New York City in the 1950s. Think West Side Story but with more grit. These gangs from the 1950s are much different than the gangs we see today. The gangs of today mainly fight over drugs, but the gangs from yesteryear fought over “turf,” patches of land that might not seem much to us today but were very important to the participants back then.
Please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, comments (positive or negative). Also, if you lived in NYC during the 1950s, or were in a gang I want to hear from you. I have talked to many former gang members over the years and even have had situations of putting old acquaintances in touch with each other.
If you’re not sure where to start looking, go to the “What’s New” page to see the latest additions to the site.
Gang members being detained by police, Library of Congress.