The Bloods is a street gang that originated in South Central Los Angeles, CA, in the early 1970s. Bloods are identified by the red color worn by the members of the gang and are known for their long-standing rivalry with another street gang Crips, who are identified by the color blue. Along with the Crips, the Bloods are one of the most notorious street gangs in the United States. This entry reviews the Bloods’ history, symbology, rivalry with the Crips, and involvement in the drug trade.

Early History

In the 1960s, the political organization the Black Panthers inspired Black youth to seek out unity and respect. After the Black Panthers were weakened in 1969, a group of young Black men in Los Angeles—looking for protection and belonging—created ...

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