Fred Hampton: Black Panthers in Chicago

1969 | 00:24:00 | United States | English | B&W | Mono | 4:3

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: Activism, African-American, Crime or Violence, Death and Dying, History, Interview, Race

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The Videofreex conducted this interview with Fred Hampton, the Deputy Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, in October 1969, just over a month before he was killed by the Chicago police.

"We recorded Hampton with a wide-angle lens at the home of a wealthy Chicago woman named Lucy Montgomery. She owned a Prairie School house furnished with modern art. Hampton arrived late with a small entourage and paid no attention to the lavish surroundings. He looked tired but strong. He was chairman of the Illinois chapter of the party, and though he was just my age, he seemed so much older than me. If our crawling around to frame him from all different angles bothered him, he didn't let on. He had a message to impart and ignored the distraction."

— Parry D. Teasdale, Videofreex: America's First Pirate TV Station, Black-Dome Press

During the interview, Fred Hampton talks articulately and passionately about the Breakfast Club and Free Health Clinic set up by the Black Panthers to feed and tend to the poor and hungry. In response to a specific question about events in Chicago and the conspiracy trail, he talks about how those running the city are "crazy with power," about racism, fascism and imperialism, and the need to educate and organize, to lead by example. He criticizes the recent Weathermen actions, seeing the group as counter-revolutionaries. In reply to a question about how they will defend themselves from retaliations from the powers that be, Hampton says that the struggle is not about individual people, but the masses, and that there will always be new people coming up to replace them.