Fred Hampton

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We’re going to fight racism not with racism, but we’re going to fight with solidarity. We say we’re not going to fight capitalism with black capitalism, but we’re going to fight it with socialism.
You can jail revolutionaries, but you can’t jail the revolution.

Fred Hampton (August 30, 1948 – December 4, 1969) was chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party. He was assassinated in a predawn raid by the Chicago Police Department, Cook County State's Attorney's Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation, as he slept in bed.


  • If you ever think about me, and if you ain’t gonna do no revolutionary act, forget about me. I don’t want myself on your mind, if you’re not gonna work for the people. Like we always said, if you’re asked to make a commitment at the age of twenty and you say I don’t want to make that commitment only because of the simple reason that I’m too young to die, I wanna live a little bit longer—what you did is, you’re dead already.
  • You have to understand that people have to pay the price for peace. If you dare to struggle, you dare to win. If you dare not to struggle then god damn it, you don’t deserve to win. Let me say peace to you, if you’re willing to fight for it.
  • Why don’t you live for the people. Why don’t you struggle for the people. Why don’t you die for the people.
  • So we say—we always say in the Black Panther Party that they can do anything they want to to us. We might not be back. I might be in jail. I might be anywhere. But when I leave, you’ll remember I said, with the last words on my lips, that I am a revolutionary. And you’re going to have to keep on saying that. You’re going to have to say that I am a proletariat, I am the people. I am not the pigs. You’ve got to make a distinction. And the people are going to have to attack the pigs. The people are going to have to stand up against the pigs. That’s what the Panthers are doing here. That’s what the Panthers are doing all over the world.
  • Bobby Seale is going through all types of physical and mental torture. But that’s alright, because we said even before this happened, and we’re going to say it after this and after I’m locked up and after everybody’s locked up, that you can jail revolutionaries, but you can’t jail the revolution. You might run a liberator like Eldridge Cleaver out of the country, but you can’t run liberation out of the country. You might murder a freedom fighter like Bobby Hutton, but you can’t murder freedom fighting, and if you do, you’ll come up with answers that don’t answer, explanations that don’t explain, you’ll come up with conclusions that don’t conclude, and you’ll come up with people that you thought should be acting like pigs that’s acting like people and moving on pigs. And that’s what we’ve got to do. So we’re going to see about Bobby regardless of what these people think we should do, because school is not important and work is not important. Nothing’s more important than stopping fascism, because fascism will stop us all.
  • Papa Doc in Haiti hated everything white. Man, you couldn't put this white paper in front of Papa Doc's face. But, he moved all the white people out and he took over the oppression, he did. Because, no education. If the people had been educated, they'd have said we don't hate the muthafuckin' white people, we hate the oppressor, whether he be white, black, brown or yellow.
  • There has to be an educational program - that's very important. As a matter of fact, it is so important to us that a person has to go through six weeks of our political education before he can consider himself a member of the party, able to even [run our] ideology for the party. Why? Because if they don't have an education, then, they're nowhere. You dig what I'm sayin'? They're nowhere; because they don't even know why they doin' what they doin'. You might get people caught up in the emotions of the movement. You understand me? You might get them caught up because they're poor and they want something. And then if he's not educated, they'll want more and before you know it, they'll be capitalist and before you know it we'll have negro imperialism.

Quotes about Hampton[edit]

  • This system wants Fred Hampton’s tale to remain untold, his militant memory to fade, his life of service to black folks and the black revolutionary struggle to pass unknown. The media has covered up this recent history, but some remember; perhaps now you will too.
Remember those who have gone before.
Remember those whom the system wants you to forget.
Remember those who fought against this system.
Remember Chairman Fred Hampton, and his assassins!
  • Hampton was instrumental in forming links between the Panthers and organisations of working class Chinese people, whites, Puerto Ricans and Mexicans in what he dubbed the Rainbow Coalition.

A revolutionary internationalist, he explained: "We're going to fight racism not with racism, but we're going to fight with solidarity. We say we're not going to fight capitalism with Black capitalism, but we're going to fight it with socialism."

External links[edit]

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