President Fred Hampton’s childhood home has now been granted historic landmark status, The ChicagoTribune reports.
President Fred Hampton was a legendary leader of the Black Panther Party who was murdered by Chicago police as he slept in his home in the early morning hours of December 4, 1969. At the time, authorities claimed the death of Hampton and Black Panther Party leader Mark Clark was following the execution of a search warrant during which members of the Black Panther Party opened fire.
A federal grand jury later found that nearly 100 shots were fired by Chicago police, with only one shot coming from someone inside the residence. While several government officials were indicted and acquitted, evidence emerged years later that the FBI was responsible for the tension sparking gun battles between Chicago police and the Black Panthers, with a federal judge approving a settlement of 1, $85 million to the families of Hampton and Clark and other raid survivors.
Judas and the Black Messiah
Last year, filmmakers Charles D. King and Ryan Coogler released a film about the FBI’s work, influence, and efforts to bring it down. Judas and the Black Messiah would go on to win an Oscar, sparking a year-long campaign to preserve President Hampton’s legacy, led by President Fred Hampton Jr. and his mother. Now, Chicago’s Maywood Village Board has voted to recognize Hampton’s childhood home as a historic landmark, bringing his son’s Save The Hampton House initiative to a moment of victory.
“The fight to save and maintain Hampton House is bigger than a building and more important than a structure. Among other goals, it is a major aspect of preserving the extraordinary legacy of President Fred Hampton, of the Black Panther Party and that of service to the people in general,” Hampton Jr. said in a statement.
While the work of the Black Panther Party has been instrumental in the fight for civil rights and equality, the party is not often recognized historically alongside many other movements. The historic status of President Fred’s House now rests on a rich heritage that deserves to be preserved in perpetuity. Last year, the Bay Area home where Black Panther Party founder Huey P. Newton was fatally killed was turned into a 1,000-square-foot mini-museum by organizers who strove to share a more accurate representation of the party and their work.
Photo courtesy of Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune
This article was originally published on BOTWC