Lena Horne and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr at a party Ms. Horne gave in Dr. King’s honor in New York in 1963. Photo by Steve Schapiro.
Fred Hampton was a high school student and a promising leader when he joined the Black Panther Party at the age of 19. His status as a leader grew very quickly. By the age of 20 he became the leader for the Chicago Chapter of the Black Panther Party. He was in involved in a lot of activities to improve the black community in Chicago. He maintained regular speaking engagements and organized weekly rallies at the Chicago federal building on behalf of the BPP. He worked with a free People’s Clinic, taught political education classes every morning at 6am, and launched a community control of police project. Hampton was also instrumental in the BPP’s Free Breakfast Program. Hampton had the charisma to excite crowds during rallies, he was suppose to be appointed to the Party’s Central Committee. His position would have been Chief of Staff if he did not have an untimely death on the evening of December 4, 1969. His legacy is still alive in the members of the Black Panther Party. They are following the statement that Fred once said, “You can kill a revolutionary, but you can’t kill a revolution!”
More than 180,000 African-Americans served in the U.S. Army during the Civil War. Nearly 40,000 of them lost their lives.