In Remembrance of Chairman Fred Hampton
In an age when grassroots Black leadership has become distilled, sanitized, and all too often co-opted, we are often left looking backwards to our ancestors for guidance on our future. Today, December 4th, marks the 39th anniversary of the assassination of Fred Hampton by the United States Government. Chairman Fred Hampton was a dynamic leader in Illinois who was committed to the transformation of poor communities and did some of the original bridging work between Black, Brown, and White folks. As a Black Panther, he galvanized the grassroots activists across race lines, negotiated truces between street gangs, and raised the conscious among the proletariat to take control of their communities and push for transformation. I often look back at figures like Fred Hampton and wonder, where are the Freds now? In reality, we have many unknown Fred Hamptons who struggle everyday to make something better out of communities and fight the inequality that has been embedded in generations before them, but that they still must deal with. To the young brothers and sisters who struggle to make it, we must draw on Hampton’s words, at the end of the day say, “I am a Revolutionary!” Give the videos (first one has some hiccups) and other links beneath a watch, they still resonate in 2008.
Check out some other reflections on Fred Hampton beneath: