Bonus: Hoe Avenue Peace Meeting in the Bronx

On December 7, 1971, an important gathering of 40 of New York City’s biggest gangs organized by a group called the Ghetto Brothers took place at the Boys & Girls Club on Hoe Avenue in the Bronx. Inspired by the work of the Black Panthers, the Ghetto Brothers transformed themselves from a gang into a community group to address the reoccurring violence in their neighborhoods.

“Warlords” in charge of enforcing gang terrorizes became “peace ambassadors” in an effort to broker a peace treaty that would effectively eradicate gang violence in the Bronx virtually overnight. The meeting resulted from the murder of Cornell “Black Benji” Benjamin who was killed while trying to mediate a truce between gangs. The treaty remained largely successful until the Crack epidemic rose in the 1980s.

Interestingly, the alliance formed that day also created the foundations on which the hip-hop movement of the ’80s would come out of.

The additional 16 sites on the Peace Trail Map are the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center, Ralph Bunche’s House, the Hart Island Memorial, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Julio Rivera Corner, Make The Road New York & Know Your Rights mural, Robert Brownjohn Peace Poster, Mahatma Gandhi Statue in Union Square, Green-Wood Cemetery, Shared Studios, Statue of Edward Snowden: Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument 2.0, Irish Hunger Memorial, Flushing Quaker Meeting House, and last but not least, the United Nations.

Next, check out 10 Influential Figures of NYC’s LGBTQ Rights Movement and 10 Places to Honor Martin Luther King Jr. in NYC.