'Judas and the Black Messiah' dramatizes life of Fred Hampton, Black Panther leader killed by CPD

CHICAGO (WLS) -- "Judas and the Black Messiah" dramatizes the life and death of Fred Hampton, the former chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party who was killed by Chicago police during a raid on his West Side apartment in 1969.

Hampton's son, Fred Hampton, Jr., served as a consultant for the Warner Bros. film.

RELATED: Black Panther Fred Hampton killed 50 years ago in Chicago police raid
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Dozens gathered at the location where Chicago police raided a West Side two-flat 50 years ago, shooting and killing Black Panther Party leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark.



UIC Black Studies Professor Jane Rhodes, who wrote "Framing the Black Panthers: The Specular Rise of a Black Power Icon," said Black Lives Matter activists are now building upon the legacy of Hampton and the Black Panthers.

"You know, long before Black Twitter, they knew how to reach people by using media, and by addressing large publics, and there were all kinds of people that were attracted to him. It wasn't only a Black people," she said.

To go along with the movie, the Judas and the Black Messiah Impact Campaign is a push to get more people involved in activism. Jahmal Cole, head of My Block, My Hood, My City, is partnering with the campaign in Chicago.

"You don't have to have a master's degree to make a difference," Cole said. "You don't need a law degree to listen. You just have to have that passion."

"People get involved in struggle, become conscious in one of three ways: inspiration, aspirations or desperations," said Fred Hampton Jr., chairman of the Black Panther Party Cubs. "These are definitely desperate times."

The film is in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.
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