by Donna Ladd – The Guardian
“When he was 13, three white teenage boys beat Benny Ivey. They aimed for his chest as his back pressed against the wall of his friend’s house in Florence, Mississippi. The skinny blond adolescent had to show he was tough enough to become a Black Gangster Disciple.
“It was 1989, the height of the crack era, and many white kids wanted to join black gangs that did not welcome them, so they initiated each other into home-grown copycat versions.
“Ivey lived in a trailer park, and the thought of wearing the gang’s colors – black and blue – made him excited to be part of something beyond his chaotic family.”