Philly Block Project

‘Gang’ Protected Puerto Ricans for 50 Years in Spring Garden

May 10, 2016

In this 2016 documentary, a South Kensington resident and Philly Block Project contributor shares his experience in Philadelphia’s Spring Garden neighborhood.

EXCERPT:  Filmmaker Gilberto Gonzalez has fond memories of growing up in the 1970s in the Puerto Rican enclave of Spring Garden. On weekends – when he woke up in the morning or fell asleep at night – he listened to men in the nearby park singing and drumming songs from their island home.

But those also were tough times in Philadelphia’s original barrio, darkened by violence with non-Puerto Ricans and ongoing tension with law enforcement. And it’s the reason the 20Gs came to be the protectors of the neighborhood.