David Barksdale: Is King Von related to him? 


Introduction to David Barksdale

David Barksdale, also known as King Dave, left an indelible mark on American history as both a notorious gangster and a revered activist.

Born on May 24, 1947, in Sallis, Mississippi, he founded the Black Disciples and later co-created the Black Gangster Disciple Nation alongside Larry Hoover. Despite his involvement in criminal activities, Barksdale was also celebrated for his community work and civil rights activism.

Early Life and Rise to Notoriety

Barksdale’s upbringing in Chicago was marked by hardship and adversity. Born as Donise David Barksdale, he was the tenth child in a family of thirteen.

His family relocated to Chicago in 1957, where Barksdale became involved in street gangs. By nineteen, he had established himself as a formidable gang leader, founding the Black Disciple Nation by 1966.

Activism and Community Work

Despite his reputation as a gang leader, Barksdale demonstrated a commitment to his community. He operated a complimentary breakfast program in Englewood, providing meals to underprivileged children.

Additionally, he actively participated in civil rights demonstrations, marching alongside Martin Luther King Jr. in Marquette Park during the Chicago Freedom Movement. His involvement in activism marked a shift in his gang’s priorities, focusing more on community upliftment than violence.

Formation of the Black Gangster Disciple Nation

In 1973, Barksdale proposed a merger with Larry Hoover, the founder of the Supreme Gangsters. This union led to the creation of the Black Gangster Disciple Nation, consolidating power and influence within Chicago’s gang landscape.

Legal Issues and Alias

Despite his criminal activities, Barksdale evaded serious convictions throughout his life. He was arrested twenty-five times but never convicted of any significant offense. Utilizing the alias “David Jones” on several occasions, he navigated the legal system relatively quickly.

Death and Legacy

David Barksdale

Tragically, Barksdale’s life was cut short on September 2, 1974, due to kidney failure resulting from a previous assassination attempt in 1970. Despite his untimely death, his legacy is revered by the Black Disciples and commemorated annually with birthday celebrations.

His impact on Chicago’s gang culture and civil rights movement remains profound, serving as both a cautionary tale and a symbol of resilience.


David Barksdale

In conclusion, David Barksdale’s life story embodies the complex interplay between crime and activism. While he may have been a notorious gang leader, his contributions to his community and involvement in civil rights activism cannot be overlooked.

Barksdale’s legacy serves as a reminder of the complexities of human nature and the enduring quest for justice and social change.

FAQs about David Barksdale

What was David Barksdale’s role in the civil rights movement?

Barksdale actively participated in civil rights demonstrations. During the Chicago Freedom Movement, he marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr. in Marquette Park.

Q: How did David Barksdale die?

A: Barksdale died from kidney failure on September 2, 1974, as a result of an assassination attempt in 1970.

Q: What is the significance of the Black Gangster Disciple Nation?

Barksdale and Larry Hoover co-created the Black Gangster Disciple Nation. The gang consolidated power within Chicago’s gang landscape. It left a lasting legacy in urban history.

Was David Barksdale related to King Von?

  • While King Von claimed a connection to Barksdale, the extent of their relationship remains uncertain, with some viewing it as a homage rather than a familial tie.\


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