The movie Judas and the Black Messiah has been in the spotlight recently. The movie is an autobiography of the American activist Fred Hampton and his tragic death. But first one must know who Fred Hampton was. Why this movie has become the talk of the town among many people.
Fred Hampton was one of the most influential American leaders and activists of the black community who was assassinated brutally by the police. He was the chairman of the Black panther party Illinois chapter. He came to prominence in Chicago because of his community services programs like a free medical clinic and a free breakfast program for children. He faced many difficulties and hurdles by the police and other organizations in carrying out his activities for the Black community. He launched a Free Breakfast program where FBI agents warned parents that the Panthers were using the breakfasts to teach racial divisiveness and the food was contaminated by venereal disease. It was said that “the Chicago police broke into the church where [the Panthers] had the food and mashed up all the food and urinated on it.”
The Black Panther Party protected the black neighborhoods from police brutality by patrolling and provided many other services for the protection of the Black community.
Hampton participated in many marches along with Martin Luther King to fight for the equal treatment of Black people in schools, workplaces, and homes. Hampton was also the founder of the Rainbow Coalition, a multicultural organization that included the alliance of Panthers with other organizations namely Young patriots, Young Lords, and many other Chicago local gangs to help them end infighting and work for social change.
Hampton’s death was a major blow to many black organizations and communities and the country’s police faced a lot of backlash from the Black community. Fred Hampton was considered the greatest threat to the internal security of the country by the FBI leaders. He was killed by the Chicago and state’s attorney police which raided the headquarters of the Black Panther Party and shot Hampton. It was said that Fred Hampton was killed a night before the police raid at his apartment. A drug barbiturate was also found in his bloodstream. The officers when fired into the apartment injured several members of the party who had been unarmed. Fred didn’t wake up during the gunfire because of being drugged the night before.
He received revolutionary love from his community. Fred Hampton and his party endured violent government suppression. The FBI wanted to neutralize and suppress the Black messiah who had the power and potential to unify the masses. The movie explores the love of the Panthers and their love for the community’s well-being.
At an early age, he staged walkouts and protested against racism. He also successfully advocated for the hiring of more black teachers and administrators in schools and colleges. He was a great orator and his speeches were such that influenced many people at that time. He also worked hard and arranged swimming trips for the local black children. A public swimming pool in Melrose Park was about 2 miles away and allowed only whites to enter the park. Hampton arranged trips to another park that was 5 miles away for the local black children. His love for his community was immense.
Despite his short life span of only 21 years, Fred Hampton accomplished much more than his other peers. He is a hidden figure in history. His success and accomplishments are rarely discussed.
Fred Hampton was most active in organizing weekly rallies, participating in strikes, and in working closely with the BPP’s local People’s Clinic. He taught political education classes every morning at 6 am and launched a project for the community supervision of the police. Fred Hampton’s hometown of Maywood has honored him by naming a street and pool after him
The movie depicts the revolutionary role of Fred Hampton who worked with various organizations for the betterment of his community. A Lot of people will get to know about Fred Hampton for the first time. It’s great that the movie industry is making such films that appreciate, remember, and remind the world of the great young Black leaders of history that are for the longest time forgotten.