|Colors||Dark blue and light blue|
|Primary ethnicities||White (Italian)|
|Symbols||Coat of arms|
|Founder||Unknown. Submit info.|
|Founding year||Unknown. Submit info.|
|Founding neighborhood||Near West Side, Taylor and Throop in Little Italy|
I am not sure exactly when the Taylor Dukes started up but I have heard it was the early 1950s and that seems accurate because racial tensions were flaring up badly in the Near West Side neighborhood by the early 1950s between Greeks, Jews, Italians, blacks and Latinos. In the mid-1940s blacks began moving into Little Italy because they took up residence in the new Robert Brooks public housing projects; also in the mid-1940s Mexican immigrants began coming back to Chicago in the Near West Side neighborhood to work as Braceros which increased the Mexican population just north of Little Italy. In the late 1940s Puerto Rican immigrants began settling in the same area as the Mexican, this all caused the Italians in Little Italy to become upset with the major influx of Latinos and blacks near their neighborhood. By the early 1950s more public housing was put into the Little Italy area as construction began on the Loomis Courts and the Grace Abbott Homes and soon African American and Latino gangs formed in the neighborhood while Italian gangs formed simultaneously starting major racial tensions. The Taylor Dukes started on the corner of Taylor Street and Throop Street as the Dukes hung out with another Italian greaser gang called the Taylor Nobles. The Dukes were mainly an Italian gang but they took in American born Mexicans into the gang because they were not necessarily opposed to Mexicans they were more opposed to Puerto Ricans and blacks. The Dukes were probably the toughest of all the greaser gangs in the Little Italy area as they dominated a lot of Taylor Street. The Dukes also kept allies with all the Italian gangs of Taylor Street, the opposition was against black gangs like Egyptian Cobras and Imperial Champlains. The Dukes also fought against Mexican gangs like Morgan Deuces, Latin Counts and Spartans.
By 1958 the organization was run by Gary Calabrese (Chicago Tribune Page 14 Oct 5, 1958) and it is likely that he may have been the one to pass everything down to the young Taylor Jousters in about 1959 or 1960, the Dukes faded out of existence after the 1950s.
Please send in 1950s and 1960s pics!
- What exact year did the Dukes form?
- Who was the founder and what happened to him?
- What corners did the Dukes run?
- What exact year did the Dukes go extinct?
- Who were the main enemies of the Dukes?
- Did the Dukes pass everything down to the Jousters then retire right after that?
- What happened to Gary Calabrese?
- Who were the leaders before Gary Calabrese and what happened to them?
Zook Published: Updated: