Benjy's family moved to the Bronx from Manhattan, and e wasn't happy about it. He rebelled against his parents, by continuing to hang out it Manhattan. We then started to explore the streets in the Bronx, and the streets were waiting.
The Ghetto Brothers, especially in their early years, had a reputation as one of the more politically minded and less vengeful of New York-area gangs. After Cornell "Black Benjy" Benjamin was killed in 1971 trying to prevent a fight between two rival gangs, the Ghetto Brothers did not seek the expected revenge on those responsible for his death.
Instead, under Melendez's leadership (and that of Carlos Suarez, also known as Carlos Melendez), they were instrumental in achieving a moderately successful truce among South Bronx and other New York-area gangs at the Hoe Avenue peace meeting which occurred December 8, 1971. Among those present was Afrika Bambaataa, then a 14-year-old Black Spade warlord known on the streets as Bambaataa.
Ghetto Brothers founder Benjamin Melendez, who left the organization in 1976, was also known
as a guitarist. He led a band, also known as the Ghetto Brothers, which included his late brother
Victor Melendez on drums. They released one (self-titled) album in 1972, which had only informal,