Fred Hampton

The last activist for the month is Fred Hampton.

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Fred Hampton (August 30, 1948 – December 4, 1969) was an American activist and revolutionary, chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP), and deputy chairman of the national BPP. Hampton and fellow Black Panther Mark Clark were killed during a raid by a tactical unit of the Cook County, Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in December 1969. In January 1970, a coroner’s jury held an inquest and ruled the deaths of Hampton and Clark to be justifiable homicide. However, a civil lawsuit was later filed on behalf of the survivors and the relatives of Hampton and Clark. It was eventually resolved in 1982 for a settlement of $1.85 million with the City of Chicago, Cook County, and the federal government each paying a third to a group of nine plaintiffs.

He was 21 years old when he died. How many 21 year olds do you know today who would walk the walk or talk the talk he did? Not many. I have a hard time calling it “justifiable homicide” when you are murdered in your own bed while sleeping, but what do I know.  These young men and women who came before me really set the bar and I am ashamed to say that I have not even begun to try to reach it.  However, that changes today. As stated in an old Sam Cooke song, a change is gonna come.

“The first lesson a revolutionary must learn is that he is a doomed man”. -Huey P Newton

 

 

 

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