“Judas And The Black Messiah,” does an amazing job immortalizing Chairman Fred Hampton and the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party. It tells the story of Fred Hampton, William O’Neal, and members of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. The film puts a major spotlight on the government’s obsession to take them down.
It is no secret that African American history has been retold with unfortunate misconceptions and untruths. The Black Panther Party of the 1960s and 1970s is one of the major Black organizations that has suffered its fair share of misguided information reported throughout history. The Panther organization was created to serve and protect the black community from the KKK and crooked police departments. Through J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI’s actions, the Black Panther Party For Self Defense was made out to be a terrorist group or the Black equivalent to the KKK.
The new film “Judas and the Black Messiah,” tells the honest story of Fred Hampton and members of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. The film puts a major spotlight on the government’s obsession to take them down.
The film opens in the late 1960s, with J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI working on a plan to dismantle the Black Panther Party, which began to grow in power and influence. This power was identified as a radical threat to the government who feared that Blacks would rise and rebel against them.
When William O’Neal, played by LaKeith Stanfield, is arrested for impersonating an officer. O’Neal was offered a plea deal by FBI Agent Mitchell. The deal instructed O’Neal to pose as a Black Panther member to gather information on Black Panther Chairman Fred Hampton, played by British actor Daniel Kaluuya.
The relationship between O’Neal, Hampton, and the Panthers seemingly appeared to be genuine as time goes on. O’Neal begins to find it difficult to continue his work as an FBI informant. But with threats from the FBI to expose O’Neal to the Party. William O’Neal followed through with his orders by putting fentanyl in Hampton’s drink. Although the fentanyl wasn’t the death of Hampton. It allowed the Chicago PD to raid Chairman Fred’s home in the early morning of Dec. 4, 1969. The Chicago Police fired 99 shots into the home of Chairman Fred. As he laid in a deep sleep due to the fentanyl. Autopsy reports revealed Hampton had enough fentanyl in his system to knock-out a bear. Fred Hampton was shot twice in the back of the head at point-blank range.
Fred Hampton was only 21 years old when he was assassinated. In his short tenure as Chairman, Fred Hampton established multiple community service programs. That included free breakfasts for school children, a medical clinic that did not charge patients for treatment, and political education classes. Perhaps one of Hampton’s greatest achievements was uniting Chicago’s most powerful street gangs to stop fighting against each other.
“Judas And The Black Messiah,” does an amazing job immortalizing Chairman Fred Hampton and the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party. As far for William O’Neal. Not much is known besides his prior criminal activities before an informant. After the death of Hampton, O’Neal went into witness protection. In 1990 after a PBS documentary regarding his role in Chairman Fred Hampton’s death, O’Neal committed suicide.
“Judas and The Black Messiah” can be streamed on HBO Max
“I believe I’m going to die doing the things I was born to do. I believe I’m going to die high off the people. I believe I’m going to die a revolutionary in the international revolutionary proletarian struggle.” ―
David “SouloMind” Ellis is an entertainment vlogger and freelance journalist from Detroit, Michigan. Through several media platforms, David has shared
an array of music news and history with his engaging and enjoyable digital content. David currently hosts a digital show titled, “The Spotlight” on Relationship Entertainment Television.