60′s | SeMeN SPeRmS SuPeR SiTe

Flyin’ Cut Sleeves NYC 70’s Bronx Youth Gangs Documentary Savage Skulls Ghetto Brothers

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Produced and directed by Henry Chalfant and Rita Fecher
Completed in 1993 Flyin’ Cut Sleeves presents alternating portrayals, from the past and the present, of former street gang presidents in the Bronx: Benjy Melendez, The Ghetto Brothers, Ben Buxton, The Savage Nomads, Nelly “China” Velez, The Savage Nomad Girls, Felipe “Blackie” Mercado, The Savage Skulls, and Lorine Padilla, Blackie’s wife. The project grew out of the experiences of Rita Fecher, the film’s co-producer, who taught in a South Bronx school in the late 1960′s and early 1970′s, became intimately involved with the gangs, their leaders, and the leaders’ families and began to document their lives. Their world was the streets, set against a backdrop of uprooted families, cultural alienation, drugs and violence. Neighborhood teenagers responded by organizing into street groups known to the members as “families”, but labeled in the most alarming terms as violent gangs by the press. In fact, the “families” had a stabilizing effect, enabling the youths to cope with their troubled environment and providing their young leaders with a means of exercising authority. The political climate at the time, movements of national liberation and such organizations as the Black Panthers and Young Lords Party influenced the young gang leaders to aspire to be more than warriors and to become, to some degree, a positive force in their communities. – HenryChalfant.com

New York City street gang Savage Skulls

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File under Blast From The Past, Culture, New York City History, SeMeN SPeRmS BLArRrG, SeMeN SPeRmS ViDeO CLuB

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