Flashback: Democracy Now! Investigates the FBI’s Assassination of 21-Year-Old Activist Fred Hampton

People often think of LA and New York when they think of centers of Black Panther activism, but one of the most promising chapters, building an interracial coalition for social justice, was led by a young charismatic organizer from Chicago named Fred Hampton. The U.S.government, however, saw this as a threat. A directive from J. Edgar Hoover, longtime head of the FBI and leader of the COINTELPRO program, gave as a key objective to “prevent the rise of a ‘messiah’ who could unify and electrify the militant black nationalist movement.” Hampton was later assassinated under the auspices of this directive. This segment from Democracy Now! gives a brief introduction to Hampton’s organizing and oratorical skills before diving into the grisly details of his murder. A chilling but fascinating slice of history.

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