What You Need To Know:
With the help of the newly released film “Judas and The Black Messiah,” a revival of interest has inspired many to look further into the story of Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, who was killed by police during an illegal FBI investigation in 1969.
However, the Hampton family is seeking to secure Fred Hampton’s legacy by turning his childhood home into a museum with historic landmark status to prevent demolition. The Hampton House, located in the Maywood area of Chicago, was in foreclosure before Hampton’s relatives purchased it and created a GoFundMe campaign, raising well over $350,000 to help bring the home back up to code and convert it into a community resource center. It recently created a community garden to provide food akin to the Black Panther Party’s free breakfast program.
The Hampton family plans to turn the home into a museum where visitors can learn the history of the Black Panther Party, a headquarters for resources and programs similar to the 1960s Panther programs that helped Black people meet their basic needs, and a recording studio that will run music programs and Fred Hampton Jr.’s weekly radio broadcast “Free ‘Em All Radio…which is done in the spirit of the Black Panther Party newsletter,” Hampton Jr. said.
Why We Need to Know:
According to Hampton Jr., previous films made without the Hampton family were an “…attempt to revise history.” “Judas and the Black Messiah” consulted with the family, although the role of the FBI informant Bill O’Neill was exaggerated and emphasis was placed on his story rather than the Panthers’ revolutionary platform. “We wish we could have gotten more political content in,” Hampton Jr. said. Many events unpalatable for Hollywood are missing and it is important for fans of the film to continue seeking out the truth.