THE TRUE MEANING OF B.O.S. was a movement created by the “Pontiac 17”. They were a group of high ranking leaders charged with starting a prison riot at the Pontiac Correctional Center (July 22, 1978) that left 3 jail workers dead and 3 others injured. The riot happened because the jail was over populated and had major inhumane conditions. The “Pontiac 17” were put on death row. Students from various universities and activists fought for the “Pontiac 17” to be taken off of death row because the riot wasn’t solely their fault. The brothers of the “Pontiac 17” banded together and created the movement BROTHERS OF THE STRUGGLE and would write it on letters to their families and friends. Although they were leaders of various gangs/tribes they united and became B.O.S. BROTHERS OF the STRUGGLE! All 17 men were found not guilty and taken off death row❗ Below are the names of the “Pontiac 17”.
1) Larry Hoover (Gangster Disciple)
2) Benny Lee (Apache Vice Lord/Insane Vice Lord)
3) John “Bay” Bailey (Black Gangster Disciple)
4) Michael “Bosco” Evans (Black Soul)
5) Anthony “Hop” Gilberry (Conservative Vice Lord)
6) Robert “Wheaty” Harris (Original Black Gangster)
7) Jessie Hill (Gangster Disciple)
😎 Albert “Omega” Jackson (Black P. Stone Ranger/Black Nationalist)
9) Ernest “Smokey EL” Jackson (EL RUKN)
10) Stephen “Tuffy” Mars (Unknown Vice Lord)
11) David “Prince Dinky” McConnell (Conservative Vice Lord)
12) Ronnie Newby (Black Gangster/New Breed) son of Booney “The Don” Black
13) William “Gaylord” Ozzie (Cobra/Insane Vice Lord)
14) Angelo Robinson (Original Mad Black Soul)
15) Joe Smith (Original Mad Black Soul)
16) Kevin “Wolf” Tolbert (Gangster Black Soul)
17) Ike “King Ike” Taylor (High Supreme Gangster/Black Gangster Disciple Nation) he started Gangster Disciple on the West Side of Chicago. These are the men who created B.O.S. BROTHERS OF the STRUGGLE. May we remain united in peace. STOP THE VIOLENCE!

Larry’s influence would rapidly grow behind bars, making the GDs the most formidable gang inside the Illinois prison system. Thus, in 1978 a major prison riot in IDOC erupts at Pontiac prison: and, yes, the GD’s were heavily involved; some say Larry Hoover even masterminded the entire prison riot.

Three correctional officers were killed in the 1978 riot. Larry Hoover was indicted, but charges had to be dropped against him, because no one would testify against Larry Hoover at that time.

In 1979 the one and only assassination attempt was made against Larry Hoover by gang member named “Nissan”, he was a Black Gangster (the BG’s are a third derivative gang from the original Devil’s Disciples). The attempt to kill Larry Hoover involved using a homosexual to stab him, but it did not succeed, and the homosexual inmate died violently.


On April 23, 1973, a brawl broke out involving 100 inmates using homemade knives, cleaning utensils and metal trays as weapons in the mess hall at the correctional center. By the time tear gas was fired, two inmates were stabbed and killed. According to Time Magazine, this fight was due to the many gangs that had been sent to the prison from the Chicago streets.

On July 22, 1978, one of the deadliest riots in Illinois prison history broke out involving over 1,000 inmates. The riot began around 9:45 in the morning when 600 prisoners were returning to the cell house on the north end of the prison from the recreational yard. Armed with shanks, prisoners attacked officers inside the cell house. According to investigators, prison gangs directed the attack to challenge Warden Thaddeus Pinkney. Soon after the local and state police arrived and fired eight rounds of tear gas into the prison yard. Prisoners set buildings on fire causing the other prisoners to get involved. After many hours, the troops got all inmates back into their cells. A lieutenant, William Thomas, and two correctional officers, Robert Conkle and Stanley Cole, were killed while three correctional officers, Danny Dill, Dale Walker and Sharon Pachet, were injured.

Immediately a “deadlock” system was put into effect until October 16, 1978. Prisoners were not allowed to leave their cells for any reason. Their meals were brought to them; all recreational time and work assignments were cancelled. The prisoners were not allowed to shower until October; family visits were banned until October 14 and they were not allowed to make phone calls to their families until September 30. The officials of the prison began searching the prisoners for weapons on October 2 and ended October 13.

A complaint from the prisoners went to the district court on August 31 stating the “deadlock” was taking longer than it was needed. The district judge took this into consideration, but then decided to wait until after the “shakedown” to make any decisions. After the shakedown, on November 3, the court ordered Pontiac Correctional Center to restore the family visitation hours and phone privileges just as they were before the riot, as well as the meals, exercise and work times. The court also required the prison to provide two hours of yard recreation a week to the prisoners.[

Because of this riot, the prison now allows only a few inmates to be moved at a time in a line, and as of 1997, prisoners in the maximum security unit are kept in their cell every hour of the day with exception of days they are allowed yard recreation, law library, showers, and visits.

More recently, with the reintroduction of general population to Pontiac Correctional Center, inmates not in segregation status are given more out of cell time and social time on rec yards, in the gym, and at dining times. Protective custody and inmates from the medium security unit are also able to obtain jobs within the prison ranging from cellhouse porter to lawn care to vehicle maintenance. In addition, inmates of all confinement statuses may participate in mental health and medical “groups”. Pontiac CC also has church services and the protective custody unit has its own inmate choir.

Haki Kweli Shakur 3-28-52ADM ATC-NAPLA NAIM

Gang-Up” on Oppression Youth/Street orgs struggle for power in oppressed communities -Haki Shakur