The childhood home of Fred Hampton, Illinois, an iconic leader of the Black Panther Party who was shot and killed in a 1969 police raid on his Chicago apartment, has been designated a historic landmark.
In a statement, the organizers of the Save The Hampton House initiative, led by Hampton’s son and his mother, announced that the Maywood Village Board voted to recognize the house as a historic landmark.
Last Tuesday’s vote in suburban Chicago followed a year-long campaign tied to the Oscar-winning film about Hampton and his death called ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’.
This designation is part of a larger effort to see the Black Panther Party and the Black American liberation struggle represented alongside landmarks of the nonviolent civil rights movement. With this designation, organizers plan to turn the site into a place where Black Panther Party artwork can be displayed.
“The fight to save and maintain Hampton House is bigger than a building and more important than a structure,” Fred Hampton Jr., president of the organization, said in a statement included in the press release. “Among other purposes, it is a major aspect of preserving the extraordinary legacy of President Fred Hampton, the Black Panther Party and that of service to the people in general.”
Hampton was sleeping in a residence on Chicago’s West Side in the early morning hours of Dec. 4, 1969, when he and fellow Black Panthers leader Mark Clark were shot and killed during what authorities told the era be carrying out a search. warrant to find weapons and explosives.
A federal grand jury determined that nearly 100 shots were fired through walls, doors and windows while only one shot appeared to have been fired by someone inside the residence.
The county’s chief prosecutor, an assistant and several officers at the scene were charged with obstruction of justice and later acquitted.
But after evidence surfaced that the FBI persuaded Chicago police and other law enforcement agencies in the United States to confront the Black Panthers, a federal judge approved a 1.85 settlement. million dollars to the families of Hampton and Clark and the survivors of the raid, to be paid by the city of Chicago, the county of Cook and the federal government.