On this day December 4, 1969, Chicago Black Panther Party Chairman, revolutionary and activist was assasinated by the Chicago Ploice Department in collusion with the F.B.I.
Just 21 years old Hampton was a dynamic young activist and one of the founders of the Chicago Rainbow Coalition, that sought to unite the Black Panthers, and the American Indian Movement in one common struggle.
Many saw him as the next possible Martin Luther King or the next Malcolm X, or perhaps the next great leader of Black Americans.
Born and raised in the Chicago suburbs of Maywood, Illinois, he became involved in the civil rights movement, joining his local branch of the National Association For the Advancement of Coloured People. (NAAP ). His dynamic leadership and organisational skills led him to rise to the position of Youth Council President.
He sought to unite people through socialism, against the capitalist system, fighting against racism and discrimination through practice and deeds, seeking to find solutions that would improve poor and working peoples lives, through struggle, without getting bogged down in watered down reformity. He sought to do this through observation and practice. A dangerous message then, still is today I guess.
His organisation provided breakfasts for poor school children and a free medical clinic for those that needed it. Hampton himself also taught political education classes. He also managed to persuade two of Chicago's most powerful street gangs to stop fighting one another.
His attempt at unification of different peoples struggles bought him to the attention of J.Edgar Hover and the F.B.I. During an early morning police raid, he and fellow Black Panther Mark Clark were shot down dead in a hail of bullets. Hampton was sleeping in his bed. This was seen by many at the time as a serious attempt to undermine the Black Panthers powerful message.
Although many years have since gone since his passing, the peoples love for this man remains strong. His powerful message remains strong. People still fighting discrimination and ongoing racism.
In 2004 the Chicago City Council passed a resolution commemorating December 4 as Fred Hampton Day.
" We got to face some facts. That the masses are poor, that the masses belong to what you call the lower classes, and I talk about the masses, I'm talking about the white masses, I'm talking about the black masses, and the brown masses, and the yellow masses.
We've got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don't fight racism with racism. We're going to fight racism with solidarity.
We say don't fight capitalism with no black capitalism, you fight capitalism with socialism. "
- Fred Hampton.
A brother who fought the oppressor,
who attacked the suppressor,
people continue his fight,
discrimination has not ended,
nor has the struggle.
the dream of freedom is kept alive,
some people pay the price,
when they try to fight back,
you can kill a revolutionary,
but you cant kill the revolution.
the spirit, lives on.
I am a revolutionary - Fred Hampton