“You can murder a revolutionary but you can’t murder a revolution.”– Fred Hampton
Fred Hampton was a groundbreaking Chairmen of the Illinois Chapter’s Black Panther Party. By the age of 21, Hampton was able to join alliances with local organizations of all races and beliefs – creating the Rainbow Coalition. The movement was able to establish medical assistants, children/educational programs, and free meals for rural communities. With his perseverance, the young chairman was able to recruit dozens of members and was able to provide job opportunities. Hampton’s purpose was to serve and protect his community. He created a Ten-Point Program allowing the black community to become self-efficient. Hampton was radical and the FBI feared he would become a threat to the U.S. The chairman slowly fell under the FBI’s microscope. However, Fred showed no mercy once aware.
A Revolution Televised
Over the weekend, we were able to attend Warners Brothers’ early virtual screening of Judas and the Black Messiah. The film created by Will Berson and Shaka King is set to premiere on February 12th on HBOMax. We enjoyed the angle of the story as it highlighted the rise and fall of the powerful chairman. The film shadows the PBS Docu-series – Eyes on the Prize 2 that featured former FBI Informant William O’Neal. LaKeith Stanfield delivers a very triggering performance as O’Neal.
In the late 60s, O’Neal agreed to cooperate with the FBI in exchange to avoid 5 years in prison. The film focused on the fearless Hampton as O’Neal began to blend in with the party. The informant formed a strong bond with Hampton and was able to report exclusive information to the FBI. The story uncovered the FBI’s unethical tactic to take down Hampton and other radical leaders. On the dawn of December 4, 1969, the Chicago Police raided Hampton’s apartment killing Hampton and fellow Black Panther leader Mark Clark.
Oscar Nominee, Daniel Kaluuya delivered an amazing performance as Hampton. Directed by Shaka King, we were reeled into the perspective of Hampton and O’Neal. The film’s trailblazing cast featured – Moonlight’s Ashton Sanders, The New Edition Story’s Algee Smith, and Project Power’s Dominique Fishback.
Without giving away too many details, we are excited for the release of this movie as it will spark conversations about the FBI and their unethical acts within the black community. Judas and The Black Messiah brilliantly shines the light on Hampton’s legacy – sending a message that a revolution will never die.