Maywood Native Son Focus of Black Panther Retrospective

Friday, November 3, 2017 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews 

A photo of Bill Hampton, a Maywood park district commissioner and brother of Fred Hampton, during a 1974 press conference. The photo, published in the Chicago Reader, is on display in the Movement & Justice Gallery’s “Black Panther Party 50 Year Retrospective.” 

Fred Hampton’s brief, wondrous life as the chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party is the subject of a Chicago gallery’s Black Panther retrospective.

According to a Nov. 2 Chicago Reader article, the retrospective “begins with a wall statement that details the ‘conflicting values’ the U.S. was founded on.

Bill Hampton_West Side Justice Center

The Westside Justice Center in Chicago. | Westside Justice Center 

“On the one hand, it notes, the Declaration of Independence states that ‘all men are created equal,’ although the founding fathers ‘were unwilling to abolish an economic system tied to a legacy of slavery.’”

The retrospective focuses on the outsized role that Hampton and his Black Panther Party chapter had on fighting and moving within that value conflict. Through photos and FBI memos, the retrospective, called “Black Panther Party 50 Year Retrospective,” immerses the observer into a visceral, in your face experience of Hampton’s struggle.

Among the archival records worth seeing in person is a photo, which is published in the Reader article, of Fred’s brother, Bill Hampton, during a 1974 press conference. Five years earlier, on Dec. 4, 1969, Fred Hampton was murdered in his Chicago apartment by Chicago police officers.

According to the Reader, the show “was organized by surviving members of the BPP and its sister group, the Intercommunal Survival Committee, and is displayed chronologically.”

The retrospective, which can be found at the Movement & Justice Gallery, housed in the Westside Justice Center, 601 S. California in Chicago, will run through April 2018. Exhibits are open Monday through Wednesday and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more info, call (773) 940-2213. To arrange a group visit to the gallery, go to westsidejustice.org. Read the full Reader article here. VFP VFP House Ad_Nov01

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One thought on “Maywood Native Son Focus of Black Panther Retrospective”

  1. Oh cool, Michael! Thank you for really sharing this. Bill Hampton is an amazing person that is always giving back to the youth of Maywood, and as the park commissioner of the Maywood Park District. He is keeping the legacy of his brother alive. I would love to check out the gallery. I will definitely spread the word out.

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