Gang Graffiti

Before you get to the article…

On February 23, 2018, my book on the Mau Maus and Sand Street Angels, who were two Brooklyn youth gangs from the 1950s, has been completed.  It took 15 years of research and writing to complete Brooklyn Rumble: Mau Maus, Sand Street Angels, and the End of an Era.  This book is roughly 6″x9″ and has 370 pages and includes a look at the characters in the Mau Maus and the details of a gang killing that happened in February 1959 in front of the iconic Brooklyn Paramount Theater (now Long Island University).  If you want to buy a copy, click here and this link will take you to an online ordering page.


During the 1950s (and any time period for that matter), gangs would use graffiti to mark off their turf as a warning to enemy gangs.  Unfortunately, pictures of gang graffiti are rare and hard to come by.  But here is a nice picture of gang graffiti of a gang from East Harlem called the Dukes.  The Dukes were an Italian gang who got into fights with the Dragons another gang from East Harlem.

1950s Gang Graffiti - Italian Dukes East Harlem

1950s Gang Graffiti – Italian Dukes East Harlem

The Dukes were involved in a gang shooting on June 11, 1956 against their rival Dragons, of which I hope to have more information later.

Many thanks to Enrique Caro who gave permission to use this picture, below you can make out the gang graffiti of “Ellery Bops,” a gang from the Williamsburg area in Brooklyn.  You can also make out the letters LAMF which means “Like a Mother F__).

Ellery Bop Gang Graffiti

Ellery Bop Gang Graffiti