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51 Years After His Death, Fred Hampton’s Message Holds Strong

Written by on December 4, 2020

Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther party Fred Hampton speaks speaks at a rally outside the U.S. Courthouse in Chicago, Oct. 29, 1969. Photo courtesy of WBEZ / Associated Press.

Fifty one years ago, Chicago police shot and killed chairman of the Illinois Black Panther party Fred Hampton. Hampton was 21 years old.

Hampton and leader of the Peoria Chapter of the Black Panther party Mark Clark were killed by Chicago police in a raid on the Black Panther headquarters on Dec. 4, 1969. The relevance of his death is echoed today by the Black Lives Matter movement and the recent police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black individuals.

On Dec. 4, Black Lives Matter Chicago co-founder Aislinn Pulley spoke on WBEZ’s Reset about how the work of Hampton, Clark and the Black Panther party has informed today’s movement.

To honor the legacy of Hampton and Clark on the twentieth anniversary of their deaths, WBEZ’s Carol Gray presented a segment on the two activists. The segment featured archival tape from Hampton and State’s Attorney Edward Hanrahan as well as interviews with Dennis Cunningham, Flint Taylor, Brenda Harris, Deborah Johnson (Akua Njeri), Jeffrey Haas and Bobby Rush. The segment begins on Side 1 at 29:25 and continues onto Side 2.

Side 1; begins at 29:25
Side 2

Stream WBEZ’s Reset segment here.