Black Guerrilla Family

Black Guerrilla Family
Black Guerrilla Family logo
Founded1966; 57 years ago (1966)
FounderGeorge Jackson
Founding locationSan Quentin State Prison, California, United States
Years active1966–present
TerritoryCalifornia and Maryland
EthnicityAfrican American
Membership (est.)100–300 members
Thousands of associates
ActivitiesDrug trafficking, burglary and homicide
Black Disciples
Dead Man Incorporated
El Rukn
KUMI 415
Nuestra Familia
Black Liberation Army
Symbionese Liberation Army
Weather Underground
RivalsAryan Brotherhood
Aryan Brotherhood of Texas
Texas Syndicate

The Black Guerrilla Family (BGF, also known as the Black Family, the Black Vanguard, and Jamaa) is an African-American black power prison and street gang founded in 1966 by George Jackson, George "Big Jake" Lewis, and W. L. Nolen while they were incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison in Marin County, California.

Philosophy and goals

Inspired by Marcus Garvey, the Black Guerilla Family (BGF) characterizes itself as an ideological African-American Marxist–Leninist revolutionary organization composed of prisoners. It was founded with the stated goals of promoting black power, maintaining dignity in prison, and overthrowing the United States government. The BGF's ideological and economic aims, collectively known as "Jamaanomics", are laid out in the group's Black Book. The group has been described as one of the most politically oriented prison gangs. Contemporarily, the group engages in primarily criminal activity with rival gangs rather than political activity.


The Black Guerrilla Family was founded by George Jackson in San Quentin State Prison during the Black Power movement.

Fay Stender attempted murder

In 1979, former BGF lawyer Fay Stender was shot five times by recently paroled Black Guerilla Family member Edward Glenn Brooks for Stender's alleged betrayal of George Jackson. Brooks forced Stender to state: "I, Fay Stender, admit I betrayed George Jackson and the prison movement when they needed me most" just before he shot her. Stender was left paralyzed below the waist by the assault and in constant pain. She committed suicide in Hong Kong shortly after she testified against Brooks.

Huey P. Newton murder

On August 22, 1989, co-founder and leader of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, Huey P. Newton was fatally shot outside 1456 9th St. in West Oakland by 25-year-old Black Guerilla Family member Tyrone Robinson. Relations between Newton and factions within the Black Guerilla Family had been strained for nearly two decades. Many former Black Panthers who became BGF members in jail were disenchanted with Newton for his perceived abandonment of imprisoned Black Panther Party members. In his book, Shadow of the Panther, Hugh Pearson alleges that Newton was addicted to crack cocaine, and his extortion of local BGF drug dealers to obtain free drugs added to their animosity.

Robinson was convicted of the murder in August 1991 and sentenced to 32 years for the crime.

Baltimore unrest

In 2015, Baltimore police stated that the Black Guerrilla Family, the Bloods, and the Crips were "teaming up" to target police officers. Later, however, leaders of both the Bloods and the Crips denied the allegations, released a video statement asking for calm and peaceful protest in the area, and joined with police and clergy to enforce the curfew. At one occasion, gang members helped to prevent a riot at the Security Square Mall by dispersing attempted rioters. On other occasions, rival gang members helped each other to protect black-owned businesses, black children, and reporters, diverting rioters to Chinese- and Arab-owned businesses instead.


  • Crossed sabres, machetes, rifles, shotguns with the letters (B G F) or (2.7.6.)
  • A black dragon.

See also

This page was last updated at 2023-07-31 16:15 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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