Who are the Vice Lords?

The Conservative Vice Lords (CVL)were founded in Lawndale in the 1950s. Social science accounts of the founding and activities of the Vice Lords can be found in David Dawley's A Nation of Lords and another account in Keiser's Warriors of the Street. Also read an update by Bennie Lee, a VL leader, perspective of what has happened to the Vice Lords since the 1960 .

The following documents, provided to gangresearch.net by the UIC Library Department of Special Collections, are a first hand look at how the CVLs attempted to begin a variety of social programs in the 1960s.

These attempts ended in failure, as a war on gangs waged by the Richard J. Daley administration and Chicago Police Department. These efforts were seen as illegitimate by the city power structure.

The documents and pictures here include descriptions of CVL programs and even their budgets, in this "report to the public" on the transition of the CVL from street gang to organization and business. First read the CVL's own words in describing their evolution from gang to street enterprise.


See some history of the Vice Lords on the History Channel video: Street Gangs: A Secret History.

All pictures are by David Dawley and reprinted with his permission.