"You can kill a revolutionary, but you can't kill the revolution" Fred Hampton
In school we don't learn about people like Fred Hampton.Even in our African American history classes.They touch on the people that we know like Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X.Now I do think this is a problem.I was in high school when I first heard the name Fred Hampton.I didn't have the sense then to look him up and find out more about him.Who is Fred Hampton? He was the leader of the Illinois Black Panther Party.Community organizer.Member of the NAACP.A leader. He decided to dedicate his life to the progress of the poor people.Fred Hampton joined the Black Panther Party in November of 1968.Over the next year he made his way through the ranks of the Black Panthers quickly.It was not long before he was leader of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panthers.During his time as leader he played a very important role in getting the free breakfast program for the children in the mornings and getting clinics in poor neighborhoods.This was also around the time that the FBI started to take an interest in the Black Panther Party and it's leaders.Some say that they saw them as a threat.That they had the power to build a revolution that could overthrow the government.No matter what they did to try and stop him he kept on going.He had a fight to fight and he was fighting it head on.The Black Panther Party offices were raided on numerous occasions.They were beat by the Chicago Police department.Food and medical supplies were destroyed.Offices set on fire.None of that stopped them from fighting.It made them fight harder.Going to jail could not stop Fred Hampton from doing his job.On December 4,1969 at 4:45 am the police raided his apartment on the west side of Chicago.The Black Panthers fired one shot and the rest of the bullets fired came from them the police.Some reports say 90 bullets and others say 100.Fred Hampton never had a chance to react.To make sure he was dead they shot him twice in the head.His body was then dragged into the hallway and left in a pool of blood.Other Black Panthers that were in the apartment were shot at as well and later taken to jail.It was a sad day in the Black neighborhood.It was a sad every where.I would like to say that those days are over but I don't believe that I can say that honestly.A few feared the power that he possessed so they needed to find a way to silence him.Jail could not silence him.Raiding his offices could not silence him.He was not afraid of the police.He took them on head on.So they came up with a plan to silence him for good.The community pushed to have the police officers charged for the murder of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark.They were cleared on all charges against them.Not many young people today know who he is and what he stood for.I think that is a shame that we are not taught about people like him.We have to teach ourselves about other black leaders.I once heard a women on the bus say that her child had to write a paper on a black leader but it could not be Malcolm X or Martin Luther King Jr.She goes on to say that it was not anyone else for them to write about.It is sad that our black people don't know the names of the people that dedicated and gave their lives to the advancement of our people.I don't want anyone to think that I am taking anything away from Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr because I am not.They gave their life for what they believed in.But they should teach us about more black leaders that fought the fight.I read an article and the writer said we should celebrate people like Fred Hampton and others like him more.I agree with him 100%.Yes we should celebrate them more.How many people in the city of Chicago know that December 4th is Fred Hampton Day?Not too many.He stood for something that he lived and breathed until he took his last breathe.Today not many people can say they have that passion.We don't stand for much these days.Everyone is out for self.Find something to believe in.Find something to fight for.So I leave you with these words."I've been gone for a little while.At least my body's been gone for a little while.But I'm back now.And I believe I'm back to stay.I believe I am going to do my job.And I believe that I was not born to die in a car wreck.I don't believe I'm going to die slipping on a piece of ice.I don't believe I'm going to die because I got a bad heart.I don't believe to die because of lung cancer.I do believe that I'm going to be able to die doing the things I was born for.I believe that I'm going to be able to die high off the people.I believe that I will be able to die as Revolutionary in the International Revolutionary Proletarian Struggle.And I hope that each of you will to die in the International Proletarian revolutionary Struggle.Or you'll be able t live in it.And I think that struggles going to come.Why don't you live for the people?Why don't you struggle for the people? Why don't you die for the people?" Fred Hampton.I wonder what he would have become if he had lived past the age of 21.Let's take some time to remember people like Fred Hampton who fought for the people and died for the people.People that gave their life so that we can have the life that we are living now.Our struggle is far from over but it is people like him that made our struggle a little easier today.Let's not forget his name.Let's remember that on December 4,1969 that he gave his life for a cause.He gave his life for the people.Peace and love!