Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) – Transcript

The story of Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, and his fateful betrayal by FBI informant William O'Neal.
Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)

Judas and the Black Messiah depicts the events that led to the assassination of the 21-year-old Black Panther leader Fred Hampton on December 4, 1969, when Chicago police raided Hampton’s apartment and shot and killed him in his bed, along with fellow Black Panther leader Mark Clark.




[director] Keep it rolling, we’ll just get, like, a bonus one of these.

[man 1] Could somebody wipe him down? He’s sweating a little bit.

[man 2] Eyes on the Prize 2, March 3rd, 1989… Bill O’Neal interview.

[clears throat]

[interviewer] Looking back on your activities in the late ’60s, early ’70s, what would you tell your son about what you did then?

[woman] ♪ Look at them flames Lightin’ up the sky ♪

♪ Ain’t never seen fire Shootin’ up so high ♪

[group] ♪ Look at them flames Lightin’ up the sky ♪

[man 1] ♪ Look at them flames Lighting up the sky ♪

♪ I ain’t never seen fire shooting up so high ♪

♪ Are you listenin’, people To what I’m sayin’? ♪

♪ ‘Cause it sure looks to me Like them n*ggas Ain’t playin’ ♪

[woman] ♪ Them n*ggas Ain’t playin’ ♪

[man 2] ♪ Them n*ggas Ain’t playin’ ♪

[man 3] ♪ Them n*ggas Ain’t playin’ ♪

Those are not riots, those are rebellions. People are rebelling because of conditions, and not because of individuals. No individual creates a rebellion. It’s created out of the conditions.

[people] ♪ Revolution Is the only solution ♪

♪ Revolution Is the only solution ♪

♪ Revolution Is the only solution ♪

♪ Revolution ♪

[teacher] Okay. Who is this?

[students] Huey P. Newton.

And where is Huey?

[students] In jail.

[Angela Davis] The first thing that the Black Panther Party did, of course, in Oakland, was to set up an armed patrol in order to ensure that Black people were not harassed and intimidated by the local police department.

And if the police arrested the individual, we’d follow him to the jail and bail the individual out, whether he was a Panther or not.

[Bob Lee] Panthers are the vanguard, man. We’re talking about tearing shit down from the bottom, startin’ at the bottom, goin’ up. A non-capitalistic state. That’s what we’re talkin’ about.

Yeah, we armed. We a armed propaganda union, but we spend most of our time working with these programs serving the people.

[Bobby Seale] Free medical clinic, free breakfast children program, the inter-communal institute in liberation schools, free legal aid, education for the community.

[J. Edgar Hoover] The Black Panthers are the single greatest threat to our national security. More than the Chinese. Even more than the Russians. Our counter-intelligence program must prevent the rise of a Black Messiah from among their midst. One with a potential to unite the Communist, the anti-war, and the New Left movements.

We don’t fight fire with fire, we fight fire with water.

[Hoover] This man.

You don’t fight racism with racism. We gonna fight with solidarity.

[Hoover] Fredrick Allen Hampton.

We ain’t gonna fight capitalism with Black capitalism, we gonna fight capitalism with socialism.


[strident jazz music playing]

[Bill] Fuckin’ Crowns. Of course.

[indistinct chatter]

[Bill] All right, playtime’s over, all right? Everybody grab a fucking wall.

What the hell is this? I just paid O’Mally last week.

[Bill] You hear me? Do I look like some two-bit shakedown artist to you? What the fuck does this say? The initials.


[Bill] FBI, that’s right, big guy. Hey, where you going? Come back here, clown. Everybody, hands on the fucking table. Come here!

Man, we in here mindin’ our own business. We ain’t doin’ nothin’ to nobody.

[Bill] Yeah, yeah, yeah, spread ’em open.

Fuck off me, pig.

[Bill] What you got in there?

Don’t y’all motherfuckers ain’t got shit to do tonight?

[Bill] Oh, you just minding your fucking business, huh? What’s this?


[Bill] What’s that? Fuckin’ idiot.

[Tex] I swear to God, ain’t no pig worse than a n*gga with a badge.

[Bill] Little Pontiac, huh?

[Tex] All right, time out.

[Bill] All right, big man, you goin’ downtown.

[Anthony] What?

[Bill] Yep. That GTO out there, the red one, that belong to you?


[Bill] Well, it was reported stolen two months ago. Let’s go, let’s go. Yep. Yep, yep.

Hell, no! That’s my car!

[Bill] Hey, hey, hey!

Let me go.

[Bill] Be easy, be easy, all right?

I got the papers on it and everything.

You’re under arrest for grand theft auto.

I didn’t do nothin’!

Yeah, yeah, tell it to the judge.

Say, man, what the fuck is the FBI doing lookin’ for a stolen car, huh?

Y’all ran out of n*ggas to assassinate?


[men exclaim]


[man] Shit!

[Bill grunting]

Hey, hey, hey, tough guy. No wise eye.

You be easy, right? No funny eye.

[man] He ain’t nothin’ but a kid.

You ain’t no fucking cop, n*gga.

Stay the fuck back!

Get him!

[men clamoring]

Get out the car!

[Bill] Fall back!

[engine turns over]

[roof thudding]

Oh, shit!

Get your ass out here!

Get the fuck out! Get the fuck out of here!

Get that out of my fucking chest! Shit!


Get the fuck off my shit!

[engine revving]


[tires screeching]

Fuck off this shit!

[upbeat soul music playing]

Punk motherfucker!

[police siren approaching]

[chair drags]

[man] Special Agent Mitchell, FBI. Almost as spiffy as yours. … Now, tell me, why the badge? Why not just use a knife or a gun like a normal car thief?

[clears throat]

[Bill] A badge is scarier than a gun.

[clears throat]

Would you mind explaining that for me?

[Bill] Any n*gga on the streets can get a gun… [clears throat] Sir. A badge is like you got the whole damn army behind you.

[chuckles] I better hold on to this, then. … Were you upset when Dr. King was murdered?

[Bill] What?

Were you upset when Dr. King was murdered?

[Bill] I don’t know.

You can be honest.

[Bill] Well, I was a little bit, yeah.

And what about Malcolm X?

[Bill] I ain’t ever thought about all that.

You just never thought about it?

[Bill] No.

You’re looking at 18 months for the stolen car and five years for impersonating a federal officer. Or you can go home.

[choral music playing]


[woman] …that reflected the population and the culture of the 80% Black student body.

[crowd murmurs in agreement]

So they’re bringing in Dr. Charles Hurst from Howard University to be president. And they’re gonna call it Malcolm X College from now on.

[crowd applauding and cheering]

It’s in this spirit of activism, and on behalf of the Wright Junior College of Black Caucus, I am proud to introduce Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton of the Illinois Black Panther Party.

[crowd applauding]

[Fred] I don’t need no mic. Can y’all hear me?

[crowd] Yeah!

[Fred] Right on. … Malcolm X College, I can dig it. Dr. Charles Hurst, direct from Howard. Right on.

[Fred chuckles]

[crowd murmurs]

[Fred] So, what? You think the students over there gonna be free now? Oh, they’ll let you change the name of your college, or your own name, throw on a dashiki. ‘Cause guess what? They still gonna drag your Black ass to Vietnam to shoot a poor rice farmer or get shot your damn self. That’s the difference between revolution and the candy-coated facade of gradual reform. Reform is just the masters teaching the slaves how to be better slaves. Under reform, you could take the motherfucking masters out, and the slaves still be doin’ all the work for ’em.

[crowd murmurs in agreement]

[Fred] There’s a man called a capitalist. Don’t matter what color he is, black, white, brown, red, don’t matter. Because the capitalist has one goal. And that is to exploit the people. He can have on a three-piece suit or a dashiki, ’cause political power doesn’t flow from the sleeve of a dashiki. Political power flows from the barrel of a gun. We in the Black Panther Party don’t believe in no culture except revolutionary culture. What we mean by that is a culture that will free you!

[crowd murmurs in agreement]

[Fred] Don’t give me no five-and-dime costume of a medicine man or a witch doctor or whatever you think the motherland look like. Give me the righteous threads of a Mozambican FRELIMO fighter.

[crowd murmurs in agreement]

[Fred] Give me… Give me a AK-47, or some bandoliers like they got in Angola!

[crowd shouts in agreement]

[Fred] Give me some Colt .45s for the folks that are trying to free themselves!

[crowd applauding and cheering]

[Fred] Brother. A dashiki ain’t gonna help you when they come up in here with them tanks like they did in Henry Horner. You need tools, brother.

[door opens]

[Fred] We got the tools at 75th and Madison.

[door closes]

[Jake] Can you spare a little change, brother? Sister, spare a little change?

[Deborah] Hi.

[Fred] Evenin’.

Thought your speech was really interesting.

[Fred] Well, thank you, sister.

Do you like poetry?

[Fred] I mean, it’s cool, but as Che Guevara said… “Words are beautiful, but action is supreme,” you dig?

I dig. Right on. But you were up on that stage using words, so… [scoffs] Maybe next time, choose ’em a bit more carefully, instead of tearin’ down the folk who you call yourself recruitin’, just because they demonstrate a little Black pride. But just so you know, you are a poet.

[Fred] Somebody define war for me.

War is a violent conflict between two or more parties.

[Fred] Would you say we at war with the pigs, Comrade Palmer?

Chairman, I’d take it a step further and say that every ghetto across the nation should be considered occupied territory.

[Fred] Right on. Well, how about politics? How would you define politics, Brother Winters?

Uh… [hesitates] You know, elections.

[Fred] Elections can be part of politics, certainly. But we in the party ascribe to Chairman Mao’s definition of politics. He said, “War is politics with bloodshed, and politics is war without bloodshed.” Say it with me, y’all.

[students] “War is politics with bloodshed. Politics is war without bloodshed.”

[Fred] Now, what that mean? It mean every time the pigs shoot down an unarmed brother or sister in the street, Mayor Daley pulled the trigger. It mean Tricky Dicky Nixon is the fattest, most filthy pig in the pen.

[students chuckle]

[Fred] So, how we win this war? What’s our most lethal weapon? Guns? Grenades? Rocket launchers?

These n*ggas got rocket launchers?

[chalk scribbling]

[Fred] There’s strength in numbers. Power anywhere there’s people. And in order to overthrow this racist, fascist, nefarious U.S. government, it’s gonna take everybody.

[Fred] Black Panther paper! Free your mind for just a quarter.

Sorry, I’m on my way to work.

[Fred] Well, I’m at work, sister. I work for you. Information is raw material for new ideas. Oh, you got kids? Your friends got kids?


[Fred] Well, we got a breakfast program feedin’ 300 kids a week.

[Fred] Because we’ve grown so accustomed to being poor, we think it’s normal for our kids to go to school hungry. We think it’s normal for us to go to the hospital with a runny nose and come home in a body bag. So, our job as the Black Panther Party is to heighten the contradictions.

[Fred] I pledge allegiance…

[children] I pledge allegiance…

[Fred] …to my Black people.

[children] …to my Black people.

[Fred] I pledge to develop…

[children] I pledge to develop…

[Fred] …my mind and body to the greatest extent possible.

…my mind and body to the greatest extent possible.

[Fred] I will learn all that I can…

[children] I will learn all that I can…

[Fred] …in order to give my best to my people in the struggle for liberation.

[children] …in order to give my best to my people in the struggle for liberation.

[Fred] So, the people can decide if they wanna overthrow the government or not.

[indistinct chatter]

These two people are waiting to see you from VISTA. Also, Brother Cohran called. He wanted to know if you willing to speak at a fundraiser at the theater, and somebody named Stanley Uhuru said he wanted to speak to you about a credit union.

[Fred] What’s that?

EKG machine. For the clinic, when we get it up and running.

[Fred] Mm-hmm.

[Fred] The poet. What a pleasant surprise.

I saw your ad in the paper lookin’ for a new speechwriter. I figured I’d better come lend a hand.

[Fred] Well, that must have been a misprint. See, I don’t write speeches, sister. I just get up on stage and speak truth to the people.

Oh, it shows. The lack of preparation, that is.

[Fred] It got you here.

[Betty] “We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing… justice, and peace.”

[Fred] “Housing, justice, peace.” Life, liberty, happiness. I mean, it’s all right there in the Declaration of Independence. But when poor people demand it, it’s a contradiction. It’s not democracy, it’s socialism, dig?

[Bill] We can do something after this, if you want to.

[Fred] O’Neal, stand up. … What is the party line in regards to our sisters, comrade?

Um… [sucks teeth]

[Fred] Anybody?

[Doc Satchel] “Do not take liberties with women.”

Oh, come on now. I ain’t takin’ no goddamn…

[Fred] These aren’t just your sisters. They’re your sisters-in-arms. Act like it. … Twenty push-ups for discipline. Captain Harmon… count ’em out.

[Judy] What’s wrong, O’Neal? Down to the ground!


You scared of a little dirt? I could have a sister put a towel down for ya.

[students chuckle]

[Bill] You ain’t tell me it was gonna be like this. These motherfuckers ain’t no terrorists. Shit, they terrorizing me.

What can I do to help? The goal is to get close to Hampton. So, think. What does he need that maybe your Uncle Sam might be able to help you provide?

A car. … Fred don’t drive no more. ‘Cause the pigs always… Shit, the police.

No, that’s good.


You’re becoming a Panther.

The pigs are always followin’ him around, givin’ him bullshit traffic violations, right? So, if you want me to get close to Fred, give me a car.

[funk music playing]

[honks horn]

[Jake] Jimmy, come on, man.

[Bill] Say, Chairman, that wasn’t no goddamn pig you was eatin’ out there, was it?

Somebody gotta show the pig who’s boss, man.

[chuckles] All right, y’all ready to split? Huh?

Y’all got weapons? Give ’em here.

Now, Judy, you is out of your rabbit-ass mind if you don’t get your motherfuckin’ boot off my shit.

[scoffs and laughs]


Yo, Winters, how many pistols you got, man?

[Fred] What about you?

Mine’s in the glove box. [laughs] Motherfucker.

[Fred] Park as close to Leon’s as you can, in case we gotta haul ass outta there.

[Judy] Chairman, that’s the Crowns’ pool hall.

[Fred] Exactly. Stay sharp.

Hey, Chairman, what are we doin’ here?

[Fred] Getting the Crowns’ attention.

[tense music playing]

[bop music playing on speakers]

[Fred] Evenin’, brothers and sisters. I wanted to hip y’all to a new free breakfast program opening on the South Side next week. Free for the babies. All you gotta do is drop your little ones off and we’ll take care of the rest. Stop on by to Saint Andrew’s and check us out. And if you’re on the West Side or you got family on the West Side, we at the Better Boys Club, Monday through Friday. The Illinois Black Panther Party has a mandate to feed every hungry kid in Chicago. I’m not talkin’ about handing out turkeys on Thanksgiving, that’s charity. Save that for the pushers and the preachers who call themselves doin’ you a favor after they done sucked you dry. Fuck charity. The Black Panther Party believes in progression. Now, what that mean? That mean, first, you have free breakfast, then you have free healthcare, then you have free education. Next thing you know, you look up, you done freed your motherfuckin’ self!

[Collins] Know where you at, motherfucker? This is Crowns territory.

[Fred] We don’t want no trouble, brother. We just passin’ through. Besides, the rap we on is a political one. It shouldn’t really concern y’all.

N*gga, don’t lecture me on politics. The Crowns protected Martin Luther King when he was here in 1966.

[Fred] And he got his head split open. Damn near killed by a mob of crackers throwin’ Irish confetti. Bang-up job y’all did.

[Bill] Hey, hey, hey! Get the fuck back! Get the fuck back, n*gga! Back up!

[Fred] Whoa, whoa, whoa.

[gun cocks]

[Fred] No need for that, brother. We on our way. But dig, I got a message for the big man. Tell him the Panthers wanna sit down with the Crowns. Imagine what we could accomplish together.

[Jake] You sure you wanna go sit down with the Crowns, Chairman?

[Fred] Hell, yeah. Imagine the Panthers, the Stones, the Crowns, and the Disciples fighting under one revolutionary army. Them pigs ain’t ready for that.


[Jimmy] I’ll tell y’all one thing. I’m bringin’ my motherfuckin’ pistols to that goddamn meeting. And you hear me, Chairman? Shit.

Maybe one of yours, too, n*gga.

[Fred] All you need is a pool stick, ain’t that right, O’Neal?

[all laughing]

You see him swinging that thing around? [laughs]

Hey, don’t you underestimate my skill, God damn it! None of y’all!

[Fred] You got heart, Bill. You wild, but you got heart.

Wild Bill.

[Fred] Wild Bill! Wow! Wild Bill! Man, tell me they ain’t call you that in Maywood!

[chuckles] Nah, man, they ain’t call me nothing.

[Fred] Nah?

Shit, I mighta heard it once or twice.

[Fred] See, I knew it! I knew it! Wild Bill!

[Jake] Yeah!

[Judy laughs]

God damn it, Harmon, you and these goddamn cognomen.

[Fred] Oh, man…

[Jake] Wild Bill!

Pool stick to a gun fight, man.


[door unlocking, closes]

[key clatters]

[Bill] Wild Bill. [chuckles]

[Roy] Come on in, make yourself at home in the den. This is Samantha.

[interviewer] What made you think you could trust Roy Mitchell?

Uh, I’d rode around in his car. I had dinner with him at his dinner table. Um… You know, he was, at one point, for me, he was like a role model. When I didn’t have one, you know? We had very few role models back then. We had Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali. I had an FBI agent.

You know, I investigated the Schwerner, Chaney, Goodman murders down in Mississippi in ’64. You familiar? … Well… A couple kids was trying to register Negroes to vote. That’s all they were doing. They got arrested on bogus speeding charges by the sheriff’s deputy, who hand-delivered them to the Klan. And they shot ’em, of course. Cut off Chaney’s penis.

[chuckles softly]

This, what you and I are doing, is…


Is the other side of that coin.

[Bill grunts softly]

Don’t let Hampton fool you. The Panthers and the Klan are one and the same. Their aim is to sow hatred and inspire terror. Plain and simple. Now, I’m all for civil rights, but you can’t cheat your way to equality. And you certainly can’t shoot your way to it.


Anyway, I’m going to go get those dogs going. … No, no, sit down. You’re a guest. Uh, if you want a taste of the good stuff, there’s a bottle of scotch in this bottom cabinet there. You can help yourself.

Hey, how much money you make, man?

[Roy exhales]

It’s a… It’s a living. [chuckles]

So, if I… Say, I get you, like, some good information. Somethin’ nobody else knows. Is there some kind of bonus or somethin’?

Well, I’m counting on it, Bill. But, to answer your question, you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. … Make yourself at home.

[footsteps receding]

[Leslie] Did he say when this meeting’s taking place?

No, just that Hampton wants to unify the Black gangs. You know, he’d probably help us write the darn thing for a couple more bucks.

What fun would that be? [snickers]

I’m pretty sure it’s actually just “dig,” not “dig in.”

What the fuck do you know? I know I’ve definitely heard ’em say “dig in” before.

Oh, really?


Use it in a sentence.

[Leslie chuckles]

Oh. Okay. These Crowns, well, they ain’t nothin’… [snickers] but a bunch of jive sissies.

[knocking on door]

Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton of the Illinois Black Panther Party.

[dramatic percussive music playing]


[gun cocks]

[chuckles lightly]

[Steel] Fred Hampton, the great orator of the West Side!


[Fred] Your name’s been ringing out, blood. It’s your world, Brother Steel.

Hmm. So, what can I do for you?

[Fred] Well, I wanna know what we can do for each other.


[Fred] Y’all was doin’ some great work mobilizing young brothers on the South Side, and we a part of a national organization dedicated to the liberation for oppressed people everywhere.

Whoo-hoo-hoo-hoo! Whee! This n*gga got some million-dollar words, don’t he? They wasn’t lyin’.

[Fred] [chuckles] It’s not just talk, brother. Our breakfast program feeds over 3,000 kids a week.

Motherfucker, the Crowns feed more babies than General Mills. Now, who you think employs all their mommies and daddies?

[Fred] Well, right on, brother, right on. But question is, can you do even more? Hmm? There’s over 5,000 Crowns in Chicago. Between your manpower and the Panther’s political platform, we can heal this whole city. And if we take care of Chicago, shit. Come on, man.

You mind if I read you something, Brother Hampton? Somebody dumped a whole bunch of these pamphlets on our front yard the other day, and I just thought they might be of interest to you. Do you mind if I…

[Fred] Go ahead.

“Word on the street is that the Crowns got more rats than a cheese factory. Where you think they get all their money from? The pigs run their whole operation. Well, lemme tell you what, chump. When you lie with pigs, you don’t just get flies, you get Panthers, itching to blow your big, Uncle Tom, watermelon-head off. Because what’s a rat to a big, black jungle cat?”

Get your ass out here! Get the fuck out! Get the fuck out of here!

“When the Panthers are done with the Crowns…”

[Fred] [chuckles]


“…they won’t have a watermelon-head left to wear a crown on. Dig in?” “Dig in?” That you? This your work?

[Fred] Brother, come on…

[Tex] Dick Tracy! I see you traded in your badge for…

[Tex groans]

N*gga, you know not to speak outta turn.

It’s that motherfucker that stole Ant’s car.

[Collins] Shut up!


[Tex] Sorry.

[Collins] Speak up.

[Tex] Sorry!

[Fred] If that was us murder mouthin’, where our guns at, huh? We came to y’all headquarters unarmed.

So, who do you think wrote it, then?

[Fred] The pigs, who else?

The pigs don’t write, blood.

[Fred] The Feds do. They pulled the same shit on Martin and Malcolm.

[Steel] Mm-hmm. And what happened to them?

[Fred] Same shit that’s gonna happen to all of us. At least they died for the people. We should be so lucky.

[light jazzy music playing]

[sighs] … You gonna need this. Tread lightly, blood.



Hey, Chairman. Chairman. Let me take that off your hands.

Maybe the Disciples will be more receptive.

You can bet the Disciples got one of them Fed letters, too.

The pigs got ahead of us.

Ah. So, what, you ridin’ with me?

You got your piece on you, comrade?

Yeah, it’s in the glove box. Why? What’s up?

[Judy clears throat]

[gun cocks]

[chuckles] Come on, Judy. You know what…

[thunder crashes]

[Bill sighs softly]

What was all that shit about a badge?


Man, what the fuck is your… Ow! All right, all right, all right! Calm down! Calm the fuck down! Can I talk to her? Can I talk to her? [clears throat] All right. Y’all ain’t gonna believe me, all right? But I used to… I used to pretend I was a Fed back when I used to boost cars…

[Jimmy] Shh.

When I used to boost cars.

What kinda fucking sense does that make? A pig boosting cars.

Now, what I would do is I would pretend. I show ’em a fake badge, right? And then I say your car is reported stolen. And then I’d hop in it, and I’d just ride. Just go. Before anybody knew the difference, I was in the wind, dig what I’m sayin’? You would be surprised what they believe. You put on one of them coats and the Humphrey Bogart hat…

You steal this car?

Yeah, no. Yeah, from a pimp.

And a pimp believed you were a Fed?

Okay, so, I…

What kinda amateur-hour macks you be knowin’ out here, man?

I hot-wired this shit, all right? All right?

Do it again.


[Judy] You say you hot-wired this shit, so do it again.

[gun cocks]

Okay, look, look, uh… I ain’t got no goddamn tools on me right now to do it right this second.

Comrade, reach in my boot.

Oh, come on now, y’all.


[Bill scoffs] All right, give me the motherfucker, man.

Shit. … All right, give me a second. Give me a second. … Shit. [Bill sighs] [softly] Come on, come on, come on… Come on, baby.

[engine turning over]

[engine starts]

Are you happy?

How did you get keys to a hot car?

Now, you think in your mind, I’m gonna pick up a stone fox in this bad motherfucker right here, and start it up with a goddamn screwdriver in the ignition? I had my boy replace the lock, motherfucker. Come on, man.


God dawg, man. Can you get that motherfucker off me now? Shit. [laughs]

Wild Bill.

[Malcolm X on recording] They don’t attack me because I’m a Muslim. They attack me ’cause I’m Black. They attacked all of us for the same reason. All of us catch hell from the same enemy. We’re all in the same bag…

[Fred] In the same bag.

…in the same boat.

[Fred] In the same boat.

We suffer political oppression…

[Fred] We suffer political oppression,

…economic exploitation…

[Fred] Economic exploitation.

…and social degradation.

[Fred] And social degradation.

All of ’em from the same enemy.

All of ’em from the same enemy.

The government has failed us.

The government has failed us.

You can’t deny that.

You can’t deny that.

Any time you’re living in the 20th century, 1964, and you walking around here singing “We Shall Overcome,” the government has failed you.

The government has failed you.

[crowd on recording cheering]

Keep going.

[recording stops playing]

[Fred] Mm-mm.

Well, do you know his speech The Black Revolution?

[Fred] “Sometimes, when a person’s house is on fire…


[Fred] …and the person to whom the house belongs to is asleep…


[Fred] …if someone comes in yelling ‘fire,’ instead of the person to whom the house belongs to being thankful…


[Fred] …they make the mistake of charging the one who awakened them with having set the fire. I hope that…

“I hope that this little conversation tonight about the Black Revolution won’t cause many of you to accuse us of igniting it…”

“Igniting it…”

[both] “…when you find it at your doorstep.”

[Fred] Well, you gotta do the voice.

“When you find it at your doorstep.” [chuckles]

[Fred] Mm-hmm.

I listen to him every morning. I feel like he never lets folks put words in his mouth, and no matter what, he doesn’t get flustered or angry. I’d like to be like that someday.

[Fred] Right on.

Right on. … Anyway, I didn’t mean to interrupt.

[Fred] You want some coffee?


[Fred] How you take it?

Black, and sweet.

[gentle piano music playing]


[Fred] What?

I did not expect you to be shy.

[Fred] Oh, I’m not shy.

Okay. [chuckles]

[kids shouting playfully]

[Bobby] We ain’t talkin’ about some hippies playing bongos in the park. These the same motherfuckers hit Dr. King with a brick.

[Jimmy] I don’t know how I feel about goin’ up in there without my pistol.

[Fred] Right on. Best you stay behind, then.

[Fesperman] Displace maybe two, three times as many of us. Well, they might think it’s easy to throw out the white trash, but they better fuckin’ burn it!


You’re Fred Hampton.

[Fred] You must be the Preacherman.

Well, I’m a fan of y’all’s paper. Funnies, especially.

[clears throat] That flag is some motherfuckin’ bullshit.

[whispering] Comrade.

Take it easy, comrade.

It’s just up there to remind us of our Southern heritage.

When I look at that, I don’t see no flag hanging. I see my uncle hanging from a tree. And a bunch of white devils like y’all smiling around his body.

Who the fuck you think you’re talkin’ to?

[Fesperman] Hey, cool it, cool it!

You’re in our house.

Hey, cool it! Look, we oppressed your people for a long time…

I didn’t oppress shit. And my folks grew up poor. They were sharecroppers.

AKA the overseer.

[Fred] What if the overseer had banded with the slaves and cut the master’s throat? What then, comrade? We might not be in this funky-ass ghetto right now. I’m not talking about the West Side or the South Side. I’m talkin’ this filthy-ass motherfucker right here. Shit. We almost got into it with a rat over a parking space.

[crowd chuckles]

[Fred] I bet y’all babies gettin’ the same bullshit education.

[man chuckles]

[Fred] Y’all payin’ the same taxes to get your heads whooped in by the same motherfuckin’ pigs. Ain’t that a trip? We pay them, huh? We pay the pigs to run us off of our corners. Let me ask y’all somethin’. If this building caught fire right now, what would y’all worry about? Water and escape. If somebody were to ask you, “What’s your culture during this fire, brother?” “Water, that’s my culture.” “Well, how about your politics?” “Water and escape.”

[somber music playing]

[Fred] Well, guess what, America is on fire right now, and until that fire is extinguished, don’t nothin’ else mean a goddamn thing.

[soft soul jazz song playing]

[Bill chuckles]

[Mitchell] So, rednecks and Puerto Ricans. In Chicago.

That motherfucker Fred, he could sell salt to a slug.

[Mitchell] Nice work, Bill.

[Bill smacks lips]

[Fred] Chicago’s the most segregated city in America! Not Shreveport! Not Birmingham! But we here to change that.

[protesters shout in agreement]

[Fred] The Black Panthers, the Young Lords, and the Young Patriots are forming a Rainbow Coalition of oppressed brothers and sisters of every color! Cha Cha, tell ’em why we gathered here today.

[men shout indistinctly]

Last week, our brother, Manuel Ramos, was shot in the head and killed by an off-duty pig.

[protesters exclaiming and booing]

So, we caught the pig and turned him over to his fellow pigs.

[protesters cheer]

And for some reason, we expected justice.

[protesters booing]

Well, let’s see what they do, now that we’re in front of the pigpen, and we demand an independent investigation!

[protesters cheer]

[Fesperman] No more pigs in our community!

[protesters] Off the pigs!

[Fesperman] No more pigs in our community!

[protesters] Off the pigs!

No more pigs in our community!

Off the pigs!

[Fesperman] No more pigs in our community!

[protesters] Off the pigs!

[Fesperman] No more pigs in our community!

Uh, your feet cold. Why your feet so cold? [chuckling] No! Get ’em off of me!

[Fred] My feet cold, your feet cold.

No, unless you… They’re like…


[Fred] But that’s socialism, man. Well, you gotta warm ’em up, though.

[Deborah chuckling]

[Fred] Well, how you think Mao did the Long March, huh?

[Deborah laughs]

[Fred] The Chinese would warm these feet left and right.

[Deborah] You saying I’m a foot capitalist? You really gonna call me a foot capitalist, Chairman?

[interviewer] So, summer of ’69, the Rainbow Coalition is in full swing. Fred’s influence is growing. What happens next?

[Hoover] I want him off the street. Charge him with something. Anything. But get his Black ass off the street.

Y’all don’t see there’s kids in here? Huh? Of course, you’re gonna wait till you get to a free breakfast program to pull somethin’ like this! Bunch of cowards!


Tighten up.

You disgust…

[Fred] Come on, now.

You disgust me!

[Fred] Show some discipline. Tell Rush to get me a lawyer.

[interviewer] What was he arrested for?

[Fred] Don’t worry, y’all, I’ll be right back.

[Bill] Ice cream.


Yeah, he was accused of taking 70-something dollars’ worth of ice cream. And I think he got two to five for that, if I’m not mistaken.

[interviewer] And how did Fred going to prison affect the party?

[Bill] How didn’t it? You know, membership decreased. Donations started dwindling. Because I was so good at installing alarms, you know, buzzers and things like that, Rush decided to promote me to security captain.

Whoa! Damn it, man! What the fuck are you doin’?

We got a visitor. Brother on the run from the pigs. Can’t be too careful.

All right, all right, God damn it. Put that shit down. Shit, man. Got to watch that shit, man.

Who’s that?

Security Captain Bill O’Neal, motherfucker. Who are you?

I’m George Sams. Security captain for the New Haven chapter. Pardon the paranoia.

Hey, we got a rat, man.


They smoked one out. In New Haven.

How? How?

They put a squeeze on that motherfucker, that’s how, n*gga.

[George] Now, I didn’t say that. I said the brother got some discipline in the area of the nose and the mouth. And then, the brother started to show some cowardly tendencies, so, boiled some water, gave him a little more discipline.

[men chuckle]

We held a trial first.

Well, shit, where he at now?

[scoffs] He’s at the bottom of the river with the rest of the trash.


[Jimmy] Shit, n*gga, what you think he did?

Shit, I would have killed that motherfucker, too. Killed him dead. I’d have beat the shit out that n*gga, too, before I… [chuckles] I would have shot that n*gga, stabbed his ass, or… Man, y’all lucky I wasn’t there. I would…


Motherfucker, please.

[George] All right, player, all right, all right.

Bitch motherfucker.

[suspenseful music playing]

[car approaching]

[car engine stops]

Does anybody else know about me?

[Roy] No.



From the Bureau?

No. No, my superiors know I have a man on the inside, but…


My superiors know I have a man on the inside, but that’s it. No one knows your identity.

Are you sure?

I swear on my kids, okay? What has got you all spooked?

Oh, man, it… Okay, this Panther from New Haven came down, you know, and, uh… And he talkin’ about they caught an informant, and they tortured him, and they killed him, Roy, all right?

Who did?

His name is George Sams.

George Sams. And who’s the fella they killed, this informant?

His name is Alex Rackley. It’s a guy outta New York. I don’t know, I ain’t never met him. But, shit, Roy…

Where is Sams hiding now?

[sighs] He’s hidin’ at the office for now. He say he’s gonna skip town and, you know, get outta here.

Okay. I need you to draw up a floor plan of the office. With this intel, I can get authorization for a raid.


Don’t worry, Bill.

What the fuck are you talking…

I will give you a heads-up, so you can make yourself scarce, okay?

Roy, are you fuckin’ listenin’ to me right now? They poured boiling water all over this motherfucker, you hear me?

Yes, I understand. I’m not surprised. What did I tell you? No different from the Klan. Now you see.

Look, now, y’all gonna have to come up off some serious fuckin’ dough for this, all right?

[Roy scoffs]

I will make sure you’re properly compensated.

[George over tape] Discipline in the area of the nose…

[knock at door]


Sir. A Panther on the run from Connecticut is hiding out here in Chicago. Says he was part of a group that killed another Panther. An informant.

George Sams. Warrant’s being written up as we speak. We’re going in on Wednesday.

How’d you know?

Sams is one of our guys. Warrant’s just a pretense.

So, Sams is the informant?

[Leslie] Mm-hmm.

So, he didn’t really kill, uh… Alex Rackley?

[scoffs] No, he did.

Well, he claims two other guys were the triggermen, but what’s he gonna say?

Forgive me, I’m confused. So, this kid, Alex Rackley, was labelled an informant and then killed…

[Leslie] Mm-hmm.

…by an actual FBI informant. And we’re just letting him walk for murder?

It’s beautiful. He’s on the lam, right? So, any time he goes into a Panther office, we get a warrant for harboring a fugitive. He’s in the interview room right now with our liaison guys, planning the next stop on his little tour. Wow. That’s, uh…

[Leslie] Takes a thief to catch a thief, Roy.

[Bill] We got a snitch.

What the fuck is you talkin’ about?

[Bill] How the fuck did the pigs know Sams was even here? Y’all ever think about that? Huh?

[Jimmy] That motherfucker run his mouth so much, he probably outed his damn self.

No, n*gga. Because they took the donor rolls, and they left all these goddamn binders here. You understand what I’m saying? They went straight for the safe. Then, they went straight into the weapons cabinet, which is right in the fuckin’ slop closet. It’s like they knew where everything was.

Hey, smarten up, brother.

[Bill] What?

You’re fallin’ right into the pigs’ trap.

[Bill] What the fuck are you talkin’ about, man? You know, Jimmy, maybe you a goddamn pig. You ever think about that?

What? Man, fuck you, n*gga!

Hey! Hey! Hey! Cool it!

[Bill] You ever do that shit again, motherfucker…

Both of y’all, show some discipline!

Are you okay?

There’s a goddamn rat in here, Bobby! And when I find him, I’m gonna smoke him out. You motherfuckers hear me? I’m gonna smoke him out. You thought New Haven was bad? You keep fuckin’ with me! You keep fuckin’ with me!

[Bobby] Cool it! Cool it, O’Neal!

God damn it!

[engine starts]

[chuckles hoarsely]


[Fred] Dear Comrade Deborah, I dreamt of you the other night, and for a second, I thought I was home. Pardon the delay in writing you. I am…

[man] CO!

It was not by choice.


[Fred] The pigs do everything in their power to keep us isolated. Because they know, the day we get organized, it’s over for their asses. Not having books, I find myself playing old speeches in my head, and I keep comin’ back to this line from Dr. King… “Let us not wallow in the valley of despair,” because make no mistake, comrade, this is the fuckin’ valley. But where some see despair, I see ground zero for the revolution. Two thousand brothers who know who the enemy is. Who don’t need the contradiction to be heightened. Because in Menard, the contradictions don’t get more black and white. I mean, a lot of these brothers came here politicized, too. They just need organizing. By the time I’m through, I might fuck around and have the pigs reading Fanon.

[all grunting]

[Fred] I have so many questions about how you doing, about how the party’s doing. But ain’t no way you’re gettin’ a kite to me in this hellhole. God forbid, one of the party members gets sent over, they could let me know how y’all are farin’. But I’d rather be left in the dark. The last thing I want is y’all up in here with me, or worse. Tell the comrades to be careful. Especially when they out patrollin’ the pigs. A brother who just got in here told me they been vampin’ extra heavy since the summer started. [sighs] Y’all stay safe. In revolutionary love, Chairman Fred.

[indistinct chatter]

[Jimmy] Officers! Now, what crime have these brothers perpetrated?

Get the fuck outta here.

No, see, I live here. Now, y’all get the fuck up outta here.


[man yells]

[groans] Shit.



[door opens]

[footsteps approaching]


Hey, Reg.

The fuck you doin’ up in here? I sure as shit know a squirrel like you ain’t got the clap.

Nah, man. My comrade, Palmer, got shot by the pigs. I’m lookin’ in on him.

All right, brother. Be careful.

No visitors allowed.

Yeah, but the nurse told me visiting hours are till 10:00 p.m.

Not for your pal here.

Can I at least leave him the books?

You may not.

“If we must die, let us not be like hogs.”

Come on.

“Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot.”

[officer] Do us both a favor and get lost.

“While around us bark the mad and hungry dogs, making their mock at…”


Jimmy! Hey, how you holdin’ up, man?

You got five seconds to fuck off. One. Two. Three.

[Jimmy] Shit.

All right, that’s it.

All right.

[Jimmy coughing]

Hey, I’mma get with you, Jimmy.


[over speakers] Hey, Williams, is that Harriet Tubman?

[officer chuckles]

You made it out. You’re good.

Oh, I’m sorry. It’s Aunt Jemima. I love the pancakes, miss.

[Williams] What’s up, guys?

[Carcetti] I just want you all to know you can thank the Black Panther Party for the increased police presence in your neighborhood. A glorious group of cop-killers. I’m about to fuckin’ move in over here. I’m about to get my fuckin’ couch, a fuckin’ television set.

Is the back clear?


You got a whistle?

Fuck it, bring the kids.

Escort Comrade Deborah out the back to the safe house.

What? Why?

I’ll take Deborah. Come on, babe.

You don’t even know where it is.

I ain’t goin’ nowhere.

I don’t know about you, but I believe they wake up at fucking 7:00 a.m.

I can protect myself.

I know you can. But you don’t got just yourself to think about anymore. I didn’t wanna have to say it like this, but I… I recognize what you’re going through, with the chairman being locked up and everything, and I just… Does he know? … Deb, I…


[Bill] Now, Judy, you know this ain’t nothin’ but a couple of drunk-ass pigs. They probably gonna leave here, go get some donuts or some shit.

[Judy] Maybe. I’ll tell you what they definitely not gonna do, though, and that’s come up in here. Not again. White, you guard the rear.

[Carcetti] Hey, Panthers! If you really give a fuck about these people out here, you’ll come down. You little motherfuckers think it’s cool to shoot a cop?

Make sure she gets home safe.

Today’s the day. Today’s the fuckin’ day! Either you fucks come down or we’re comin’ up!


[officers clamoring]

10-1, we need backup. Black Panther headquarters.

Hey, kid, clear the fuckin’ sidewalks!

[officer] Move! Kid! Kid!

Who’s got the room?

[Williams] Get off the fuckin’ sidewalk!

[Carcetti] I got the shooter!

What the fuck you doin’?

[Bill] I’mma cover you from the roof.

O’Neal, where are you going?

Trust me, it’ll make better sense when they call for backup, and they’re goin’ to call for backup.


[White] What’s up?

I’mma go secure the roof, all right?

[White] Right on.

All right.



[Carcetti] Watch your backs!

[Williams] Look at that window!

[Carcetti] Hold your positions!

[Williams] Do you guys see any other weapons besides those?

Is there any visuals?

[siren wailing]




[shotgun firing]


[intense music playing]


[Judy grunting]

[gunfire continues]

[crowd clamoring]

I hate you! You swine!

[officer] Keep ’em back!

[Judy grunting]

White! You okay?

[Judy grunting loudly]

Fuck, I’m out!

[gunfire continues]

[crowd clamoring]

[Judy] Stop shootin’! We comin’ out!

[White] Comin’ out!

[Judy] We’re comin’ out! We’re comin’ out!

Cease fire! Cease fire!

God damn it! God damn it, cease fire!

Come out with your hands up!

[Judy] Comin’ out! We’re comin’ out! Don’t shoot!

[Captain] Cease fire! Cease fire!

[officer] Drop your weapon!

[officer 2] Move in! Move in!

[Carcetti] Motherfucker!

[White groans]

[Judy groaning]

[crowd jeering]


[man] Let her go!

[man 2] That’s a woman, man!

What the fuck happened?

[man 2] What you doing?

[Carcetti] Get ’em in the fuckin’ wagon!

Get in the building. I need to blow the building!

I need explosives inside the building!

Keep ’em back! Keep ’em back!

[man] Let ’em go! Let ’em go!

They’re gonna burn it down. They’re gonna burn it down!

No! Get off of me! No!

Get off of me! Get off of me!

[dramatic music playing]


[crowd gasping]


[keys jingling]

[metal creaking]

[warden] It’s over.

[footsteps recede]

[paper rustles]

[sighs heavily]

[phone ringing]


[Bill] Hey, listen, I’m out, Roy. I’m out!

Calm down. Calm down, Bill.

Don’t you tell me to fuckin’ calm down, all right? I was almost killed, man! Now, Fred’s in jail, I did the damn job, and I’m out!

No, that’s not how it works.

What the fuck do you mean, “That’s not how it works”? Why don’t you give me one good reason why I don’t just book it outta here right now?

Because… [hesitates] Because, as I’ve mentioned, it’s a year and a half for the stolen car, and five years for impersonating a federal officer. And if you run, I will hunt you down, you understand…

Man, shut the fuck up! … Fuck!

[Bobby] What do we need?

[Bill] What do you mean?

You the handyman. Oakland says rebuild immediately. What do we need?

We need a goddamn white flag, Bobby! You don’t see this shit? Don’t you understand this shit is…

[boy] God damn! They burnt the shit out this motherfucker.

[Bill] You’re goddamn right, they did.

[boy 2] Watch your mouth, man!

Y’all need help?

Yeah, little brother. Um, go on down to the store and get us a couple of trash cans. [clears throat] That’s how you rebuild, comrade.


Hey! Hey! Can I help y’all?

We came to ask y’all that. Got some bodies if you need ’em. Look, I know y’all got an army and all that, but figured y’all could use some reserves.

Oh, right on.

Y’all know how to use a tape measure? ‘Cause this needs measurin’ right here, all right? And then that drywall right there needs to be measured out and flushed, you know, how I got it here. And the rest of y’all can grab some of these paint rollers, and help ’em with that wall. Yeah, right there is good.

[indistinct chatter]

[scoffs softly]

[Hoover] Los Angeles leaders Bunchy Carter and John Huggins. Well, former leaders. Chalk marks, all that’s left. Our friend, Mr. Cleaver… [chuckles] On the lam in Algeria. A gift from our friends at Langley.

[Roy] Hmm.

[Hoover] Oh. Look who’s here. [chuckles] Our old friend, Bobby Seale. You recognize this from the evening news, all bundled up. It must be very cold in that Chicago courtroom. Speaking of Seale, if the Seale verdict does not fall our way, we have a witness who’ll testify he ordered a hit in Connecticut. I believe you’re familiar with George Sams, Agent Mitchell?


Yes, sir.

[Hoover] Very well. Have a seat, gentlemen. … How are the boys, Jack and Tyler?

Good, sir. … Thank you. Uh… Tyler just started Little League. Kid’s got quite an arm on him.

And your daughter, Samantha, she must be, what, eight months now, is it?

That’s right. She’s growing fast every day.

They always do, don’t they? Tell me… What will you do when she brings home a Negro?

When she brings home a Negro?

Your daughter, Samantha. What will you do the day she brings home a young Negro male?

She’s an infant, sir.

I’m well aware. And that’s not an answer to my question.

She won’t.

Why not?

Because… Respectfully, Director, why are we talking about my daughter?

You killed in Korea.


Not for country. Maybe that’s why you enlisted. But you killed for survival. You would have done anything to get back home safe to your family, wouldn’t you? Of course. Think of your family now, Agent Mitchell. When you look at Hampton, think of Samantha, because that’s what’s at stake if we lose this war. Our entire way of life. Rape, pillage, conquer. You follow me?

I do, sir. Hampton’s in Menard doing two to five.

[Hoover] Hampton is getting out, while the State Supreme Court considers his appeal. In the interim, your CI is our best chance at neutralizing him, Agent Mitchell. Maybe it’s time to use O’Neal more creatively.

[soft piano music playing]

You look beautiful, you know that? You know that?


[laughter nearby]

[Bill] Whoo!

Now, y’all save that shit for when you get back to the house, all right?

[both chuckle]

Careful, now.


[Jeff] Whew!

You look good, Chairman!

How ya feelin’?

I miss y’all motherfuckers, man!

[all laugh]

Come on, man!

Yeah, so where you wanna go? You hungry? What? What do you want?


[Bill] Mm-hmm.

Shit, headquarters it is, boy.

[engine starts]

How’d y’all… But it was burned down. I saw…

[Bobby] Then the whole neighborhood came out. The pushers, the grannies, the Crowns. Everybody. ‘Specially this one right here. He practically led the charge.

Come on, now, man.

[Bobby] Don’t be modest, brother. You almost lived here.

Power. Anywhere there’s people, there’s power.

Right on.

Thank you, brother.

[door opens]

[Jake] Chairman!


[woman laughs]

I was wondering why it was so quiet, man.


[Fred] I was like, “These motherfuckers better be out here feedin’ these babies overtime if they’re not gonna welcome a brother home, God damn it!” Come on, man!

[Jake] You made it.

[Fred] Oh, man, I missed y’all motherfuckers, man.

[Jake] We missed you, too, man!

[Fred] Oh, my God.

[Jake] You know I missed you, too, man!

[people clapping and cheering]

[Fred] Yeah, brother. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[Jake] All right, let me outta here!

Let me outta here! Let me outta here!

[Fred] You the man. You stay in here and man up!

[chatter and laughter]

[jazz soul music playing on speaker]

[Doc Satchel] Black Panther Party headquarters.

All that complainin’…

[Doc Satchel] Right on, how’s it going, brother?


[Fred] I feel your pain, sister. But we at war, you know?

[Doc Satchel] He’s gone.

[Fred] Excuse me, sister.

[woman] All right.

[Fred] What’s up?

Jimmy Palmer died.

[Fred] What? How?

[Bobby] Can we talk about this outside, Fred, please?

He was shot while you were gone.

[Fred] Comrade, why is this the first I’m hearin’ about this, man?

Who was shot?

[Fred] Jimmy Palmer.

Yeah, he’s fine. Y’all know that.

He died, Jake. Last night.

Nah, that’s impossible. I just talked to him the other day. … Anybody got the number for Loretto…

He was moved to the county hospital.

Get this fuckin’… Get this shit off of me. Hey, motherfuck…

[Fred] They killed him. They fuckin’ killed him.

[Bobby] Jake.

[Doc Satchel] Jake.

[Bobby] Jake!

[door shuts]

[crowd chanting] Chairman Fred! Chairman Fred! Chairman Fred! Chairman Fred! Chairman Fred!


[upbeat drum music playing]

[band continues playing upbeat music]

[music and cheering subside]

[Fred] I’m free.

[crowd roars]

[upbeat drum music resumes]

[Fred] I’m free, y’all!

[crowd roars]

[Fred] I need everybody to repeat after me! I am…

[crowd] I am…

[Fred] …a revolutionary!

[crowd] …a revolutionary!

[Fred] I am…

[crowd] I am…

[Fred] …a revolutionary!

[crowd] …a revolutionary!

[Fred] I am…

I am…

[Fred] …a revolutionary!

…a revolutionary!

[Fred] I am…

I am…

…a revolutionary!

…a revolutionary!

[Fred] I am…

I am…

[Fred] …a revolutionary!

…a revolutionary!

[Fred] I am…

I am…

[Fred] …a revolutionary!

…a revolutionary!

[Fred] Drummer, lemme hear the people beat!

[upbeat drum music playing]

[Fred] This is what we call the people beat. Started in 1966 by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. It’s the beat that manifests in you, the people. They can’t never stop the party unless they stop the people!

[crowd cheers]

[Fred] Well, ain’t you high? Ain’t you high?

[crowd cheers]

[Fred] I’m high off the people!

[crowd cheers]

[Fred] I’m high!

I’m high!

[Fred] I’m high!

I’m high!

[Fred] High, high, high…

[crowd] High, high, high…

[Fred] …off the people!

[crowd] …off the people!

[Fred] So, if you were asked to make a commitment at age 20, and you said, “I’m too young to die,” then you’re dead already!

[crowd groans, then cheers]

[Fred] If you dare to struggle, you dare to win! If you dare not struggle, then, God damn it, you don’t deserve to win!


[upbeat drum music continues]

[Fred] Right. Right.

[music stops]

[Fred] Put a fist in the air for Comrade Jimmy Palmer. … Jimmy Palmer died a revolutionary death. He stood face-to-face and toe-to-toe with pig Daley’s henchmen, and made the greatest sacrifice one could ever make.

[crowd cheering]

Right on!

[upbeat drum music resumes]

[Fred] I don’t believe I’m gonna die in no car wreck! I don’t believe I’m gonna die slippin’ on no ice! I don’t believe I’m gonna die ’cause I got a bad heart! I believe I’m gonna die doin’ what I was born for! I believe I’m gonna die high off the people!

[crowd exclaims]

[Fred] I’m gonna die for the people, ’cause I live for the people! I live for the people, ’cause I love the people!

[crowd cheering]

[upbeat drum music continues]

[Fred] And as for them bloodthirsty, murderous pigs… Well, some of you might be in the audience right now, huh?

[crowd clamors]

[Fred] Sittin’ on a tape recorder, gun in your hand! Well, lemme make it plain. Kill a few pigs, get a little satisfaction.

[crowd cheering]

[Fred] Right on. Right on. Kill some more pigs, get some more satisfaction.

[crowd cheers]

[Fred] Kill ’em all and get complete satisfaction!

[crowd roaring]

[upbeat drum music plays]

[crowd chanting] Chairman Fred! Chairman Fred! Chairman Fred! Chairman Fred!

[Fred] It’s not a question of violence or non-violence. It’s a question of resistance to fascism or non-existence within fascism!

[crowd cheers]

[Fred] You can murder a liberator, but you can’t murder liberation! You can murder a revolutionary, but you can’t murder a revolution! And you can murder a freedom fighter, but you can’t murder freedom!

[crowd cheers]

[upbeat drumming]

[Fred] I said I am…

[crowd] I am…

[Fred] …a revolutionary!

…a revolutionary!

[Fred] I am…

I am…

[Fred] …a revolutionary!

…a revolutionary!

[Fred] I am…

I am…

[Fred] …a revolutionary!

…a revolutionary!

[Fred] I am…

I am…

[Fred] …a revolutionary!

…a revolutionary!

[Fred] Drummer, lemme hear the people beat! Lemme hear the people beat!

[upbeat drum music playing]

[crowd chanting] Chairman Fred! Chairman Fred!

Chairman Fred! Chairman Fred!

[Fred] Right! Right! Put your fists in the air!

[chanting continues]

[Fred] Right!

Winters, fuck you doin’ here?

[breathing heavily]

Lookin’ for some answers.

Answers to what?

Remember I saw you not too long ago at the hospital?


The pigs took my man outta there.

I don’t know nothin’ about that.

No, look, I was thinking maybe you could ask a couple questions.

And fuck my money up? N*gga, do you have any idea how treacherous them crackers is down there? I don’t want no parts of that.

Reg, please. Please, man.

Look, man, I’m cold and I’m hungry. Now, get out my way.

Come on, brother!

I ain’t your brother! Now, get the fuck off my porch before you end up like your boy did.

Man, fuck…

No, I just wanted to know what happened. Reg! Hey, Reg! I just wanted to know what happened to my friend! Reg!

[Reg] Yeah.


[Reg] Across the street from the oil refinery. Uh, Lawn… Lawndale and 45th. He… He’s got a gun. A big one.

[Deborah] What are you doin’? That’s private! It’s private…

[Fred] You think you gonna be a bad mother?

It was a question.

[Fred] Why you gotta ask yourself that?

I don’t… I don’t know. Maybe the fact that I’m bringin’ a child into a war zone. These aren’t considerations you have to make. You get to go out there, talk about dyin’ a revolutionary death and how your body belong to the revolution, because you don’t have another person growin’ inside your body.

[Fred] [sighs] So, you regret it?


[Fred] Havin’ my baby.

Do you?

[Fred] When I dedicated my life to the people, I dedicated my life. You dig? And it wasn’t till Menard when I realized what that… When I realized what that meant. ‘Cause in order to survive in there, a part of me had to die, man. You couldn’t have told me that, when I got out, that I have… That I’d had every reason to live. So, do you regret it? Do you?

Uh… I wanna… I wanna share somethin’ with you.

“Like the masses, I was in awe, when I first laid eyes on all the things you are. I heard that speech, and when that indent pierced your cheek, I knew we’d make noise. I just… I thought it’d be in the streets. What magic a philistine and a poet could create.”

[Fred] A philistine? Who you callin’ a philistine?

You’re seriously interrupting me right now? “What magic a philistine and a poet could create. However contradictory, it would seem that it’s fate. We educate, we nurture, we feed, and we lobby. Perhaps we’re here for more than just war with these bodies.”


[officer] Let’s go!

[officers shouting indistinctly]


[Deborah] “Will my comrades think me treasonous? Can it please have your dimples? Will my chairman look at me differently? Will its eyes have your twinkle?

[page turns]

Will our child be the apple of his eye? Or constantly get the compromise? The rata-tat-tat of gunfire, the clink of jail cells, lullabies. We scream, and we shout, and we live by this anthem, but is power to the people really worth that ransom? [sniffles] ‘Cause that’s what a mother does. She gives the world the most precious things that she loves. And I love you, and I love our baby, too, and there’s nothing more radical than seein’ that through. Born pure to the blood, with the heart of a Panther. So, no regrets. I know my answer.”

[steam hisses]

[tense music playing]

[steam hisses]

[steam hisses]

[tense music continues]



Oh, shit.

[officer] Please.

[Jake panting heavily]

Please. Please. Please, no!

[gun fires]

[officer 2] Hey!


[body thuds]

[engine stops]

[car door shuts]


Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hey. Hey, don’t shoot me. Don’t shoot. Please don’t kill me. Don’t kill me. I’m not a rat. I’m not a rat, I swear.



[phone ringing]


[ringing continues]

[Fred] Thank you.

You’re welcome.

[Fred] Do you want me to get that?

It’s probably one of them crank callers. As if it ain’t bad enough I’ll never see my son again. You think the mothers of those police officers that killed the Soto brothers are getting harassed like this? Please.

[ringing continues]

[Fred] I know what you’re gonna say, but…

No. No, stop. Stop that.

[Fred] I’m sorry, Mrs. Winters.

[clicks tongue] Let’s talk about something else. [chuckles] How’s Deborah?

[Fred] Tired of being pregnant.

[both laugh]

Yeah. Yeah. Tell her to cherish it. All of it. Those early days are… You know, even when I think about Jake in my mind, he’s always seven. That’s how I remember him. My little boy. I remember, one time in church, he said… “Mama, may I be excused?” I said, “Why, Jake?” You know, figuring he was bored or something. And he goes, “Mama, I gotta pass gas.”

[both laugh]

[Fred] Sound like Jake.


[Fred] Yeah.

[Mrs. Winters] So well-behaved. Just the sweetest little thing. Mmm. Those folks, though, they try to paint my Jake as some cold-blooded killer. He did that. [chuckles] He did that. But that ain’t all he did. Tell ’em about my Jake, Chairman.

[Fred] I will do.

[voice breaking] Please.

[Fred] Yes.

[sighs] It don’t seem fair that that’s his legacy.

[Bill] Here. C-4. Yeah, we got enough there, we could blow up city hall, some more shit.

Fuck is wrong with you?

[Fred] Calm down, comrade, calm down.

What you mean, what’s wrong with me, man? Are y’all fuckin’ crazy? We’re not gonna win this war, so we gotta do somethin’ big and we gotta do it now!

[Fred] You out your mind?

Man, “complete satisfaction,” ain’t that what the fuck you told me? “Kill ’em all, complete satisfaction.”

[Fred] But I didn’t mean it like that. I did not mean it like that.

I call you “comrade” ’cause we at war! You’re the one that gave me the game, man! Know Jimmy Palmer? All right, you remember Little Bobby? Franko Diggs? Thomas Lewis? Bunchy Carter? Jake Winters?

[Fred] All you lookin’ to do is add more names to that list. You bomb city hall, they gonna bomb us.

I’m ready to die for the people, Chairman. How about you? … Is it a goddamn revolution or what? Huh?

[Fred] Get this shit the fuck outta here!

Why the fuck is we doin’ it? What are we doin’ this shit for?

[Fred] Get this shit the fuck outta here, you fuckin’ idiot!

[Fred] Get the fuck on, man!


Well, then fuck it, then! I’m out! This whole shit gonna crumble! Motherfucker! Fuck is you talkin’ about, n*gga?

[engine starts]

[engine revs]

[grunts, breathes heavily]

God damn it! Shit.

[tense music playing]

[woman on phone] FBI, how may I direct your call?

Uh, Special Agent Carlyle for Director Hoover.

[line beeping]

[Hoover] Hello.

Director Hoover, good afternoon, sir. I am calling with good news. With great news. Two hours ago, the Illinois Supreme Court denied Hampton’s appeal. He’s going back to Menard.

I know.

Well, that’s what we wanted, right?

Prison made Huey Newton a celebrity. It made Eldridge Cleaver a best-selling author. Prison is a temporary solution.

[footsteps approaching]

[Deborah] What you doing?

[Fred] Goin’ through old shit. … My mom used to babysit him, you know? Not all the time, but his family lived across the street, so every now and then, she’d watch him. We didn’t go to the funeral. It was too much for her. I don’t even think I saw the photo till months later. But I remember when I did. Thinkin’, “There’s people in this world who want to do that to me? Or my brother? Or my sister?”That’s when I knew I had to protect ’em. I mean, looking at that photo, how could you not feel that way? Now, here I am. [scoffs] About to go back to Menard. Where I won’t be able to protect anybody. Not even my own son.

The party will protect him. You hear me? The people will protect him.

[soft piano music playing]

[Bill] Here, take this.

Yes, sir.

Hey. Roy boy. How are you?

Look, man, sorry I’m late. I just, you know… How’s it goin’?

[Bill chuckles] It’s groovy, right? … What can I do for you, Roy?

You’ve been to Hampton’s apartment, right?


A lot of guns there?

Of course.

Good. I need you to draw me a blueprint of the place.

Uh, you must not… Fred’s goin’ back to Menard, man. Uh, I think it was his appeal getting revoked or somethin’ like that.

No, I’m aware.

All right, well, if you’re aware, then, um, I don’t understand.

You don’t have to understand, Bill. You just have to draw me that blueprint.

[laughs] Listen, Roy.


You got him, man. You know, you won. Fred’s… What more do you want?

[Roy sighs]

Are you gonna kill him, Roy? Huh?

I saw you, you know.


That day at the speech. I watched you. I remember thinking to myself, “Either this guy deserves an Academy Award, or he really believes this shit.”

Hey, come on, man, now, I was doin’ my goddamn… I was doin’ the job that you told me to do. I was doin’ what the fuck you said. The fuck are you talkin’ about, man?

Tell you what, though. Let’s say I put a call in to New Haven PD, get ’em to send me a few snapshots of your friend, Alex Rackley, after they dragged him from the river, cigarette burns all over his body, skin peeling off, where the Panthers poured boiling water all over his cock. If they did that to Rackley, imagine what they’ll do when they find out their security captain is a fucking rat. A fucking rat.

Fuck, Roy.

[Wayne] They name all these ships, like Apollo and all that, right, after Black people, but ain’t no Black astronauts, right?

[both chuckle]

Well, I like seein’ you smile. How about we continue this at my pad? Have a nightcap.

[woman chuckles]

I got more than enough alcohol, you know? … All right.

Hi. I’m Darlene.

Hey. [clears throat] Bill.

What brings you out so late, Bill?

You know, it’s quiet. Nobody know who the hell I am.


You know?

Mysterious. So, what do you do, Mystery Man?

Um… [clears throat] I used to work for the FBI.


Top me off while I run to the ladies’, Eliot Ness.

[Darlene chuckles]

Shit. [chuckles] They let n*ggas work for the FBI now? Is that right? Why don’t you get me an application, brother? Mr. FBI man, huh?

Hey, man. Would you shut the fuck up?

Hey, hey, hey!

God damn it.

Mitchell warned me about you.




Look here, just relax. Okay, we hidin’ in plain sight. Nobody know we in here. Check this out, man. I got this article I want you to read right here. Yeah, right, it’s the article in this paper. Very important. I need you to let the Chairman read it tomorrow night. And put that in his drink.

[breath trembles]


I don’t know what the fuck you talkin’ about, man. I don’t… Fuck outta here with that shit.

[man] My mistake.

All articles and shit, man.

No, no, it’s all good, that’s my mistake. No, I guess I had the wrong guy. Sorry about that. Lemme get outta here.

[breathing heavily]

[Bill] Hey! Hey!

Who are you, man?

[man] Hey, don’t worry about it, slick. Man, just go back inside.

[Bill] N*gga, I’m not gonna poison him, you hear me? You fuckin’ hear me?

[laughing] Come on, man, you watch too many movies. Look, all it’s gonna do is just make him sleepy. You want him to go easy, right?

Who the fuck are you, man? Tell me your fuckin’ name! You know… Did Roy send you? If you a Fed, then show me a fuckin’ badge! Hey! Show me a fuckin’ badge, man! Please!

[strident jazz music playing]



[Collins] Consider that a gift… from the Crowns. Ain’t no shame in runnin’. It’s not like they giving you a choice.

Yeah, maybe he’s right, Chairman. Go overseas. Like you said, start an international proletariat revolution. At least that way, you’re still in the fight.

[breathing shakily]

[Collins] So, what about Cuba?

[Tracy] Nuh-uh.

[Collins] Cuba’s not an option? Why not?

[Tracy] Algeria.

[Collins] Shit.

Mark Clark, Deputy Minister of Defense, Peoria chapter.


Central ordered me to come down here to check out how y’all do things, here in the Windy City.


And your name, comrade?


[Clark] Bill?


[Clark] Bill. What cadre are you in, Bill?

Man, I’m not even in no…

Thinking about joining up? Right on. Right on, Bill. You know, I started off in the NAACP myself. Then I had to leave. Them Negroes move too damn slow for me.

[Compton] I know a guy. Kites up checks, passports, driver’s licenses, things of that nature.

Yeah, but how far we gonna get when one of us is 37 weeks pregnant?

You could be in Havana in less than 24 hours. And they have some of the best doctors in the world.

[Tracy] Yeah, okay, let’s just hope that’s not the day that Nixon decides to nuke that motherfucker. Look, Algeria, they got Minister Eldridge. Not to mention bungalows by the sea.

[Doc Satchel] But the Cubans got ocean for days. You know how long it’ll take to get to Algeria? That Cuba’s a hop and a skip away.

[Bobby] There is a network of safe houses headin’ south. I could put a call into Central.

[Fred] Y’all spendin’ all this time talkin’ about me goin’ to Algerian bungalows, when you need to be talkin’ about how we gonna build this motherfuckin’ medical clinic. [sighs] Is the party about me or is it about the people? Hmm? … Chairman… It’s a 5-year bid. You know how many people we could save in five years? With a medical clinic in the middle of the West Side? As far as I’m concerned, that’s an easy decision. Doc. You run it. Name it after Jake. So, when people hear the name Jake Winters, they think about healin’. And lovin’. Like he loved us. And when I get out, me and Deb can have our second.

[Deborah chuckles]

[Fred] And third, and fourth…

Okay. Easy now.

[Fred] I was gonna cap it at five, baby. Five’s a good number, right?

How ’bout we see how you do with the one?

[Fred] Mm-hmm.

[Fred sighs]

Speaking of children, Chairman, I’m gonna go and get back to my family.

[Fred] Take care, comrade.

All right. See you in the morning. Comrade.

[Fred] Right. Come on, baby, you eat. Come on. This’ll get you strong.

[Deborah groans]

[Fred] This’ll raise the blood.

That’s way too much.

[Fred] Oh, what? What?

[chuckles] That’s too much.

[Fred] What’s up?

[gulps] I thought I’d get another drink. You want a refill, Chairman?

[breathes shakily]

[clears throat]

[engine starts]

[lighter clicking]

[door opens outside]

[door closes]

[muffled footsteps]

[whispering] Hey. Hey. Wake up. Look.

[switch clicks]

[whispering] Hey. Hey.

[fingers snap]

[inhales sharply]

Wake up.

[grunts softly]

Somebody at the door.

[whispering] Hey, Tracy. I’mma wake the Chairman.

[knocking on door]

I’m comin’!


[Officer Blart] Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!

[Herman] Deb, get down! Get down! Get down!

[men clamoring]

No! No!

[automatic gunfire]

[men groaning]

[Deborah] Chairman!


Chairman, wake up! Wake up! Chairman! Chairman! Chairman! Wake up! Chairman, wake up! Wake up! Wake up! Chairman!

[Officer Caple] Turn on the fucking lights!

[Doc Satchel] We can’t! We’ve been shot!

[Officer Caple] Turn on the light or you’ll get shot more!

[all whimpering quietly]


[all groaning]

[Doc Satchel] Come on, come on!

Betty… Get up. Get up.

[all grunting]

[Doc Satchel groans]

[Herman] We’re comin’ out! We’re comin’ out!

Come here! Come here!


[officer] How many are in there?

[Compton] Just stop shootin’! Stop shootin’!

We got a pregnant sister in here, God damn it!

[Officer Blart] Everyone out! Now!

[Deborah whimpering]

I said now!

[Officer Maroney] Get over here!

[Officer Blart] Keep those hands up!


What do you know? We got a broad here.

Take her!

[Officer Caple] Come here!

[Officer Blart] Get her.

[handcuffs fastening]

Looks like he’s gonna make it.


[Officer Maroney] He’s good and dead now.

[classical music playing]

Bill. Good to see ya. Come on in. … Hey. Relax… it’s just us. I know you don’t trust me, but it’s true.

Why’d you call me here, man? What do you want?


Take it. You don’t have to if you don’t want to, but I think you’ll be glad you did.

[Bill sniffs]

They’re for a gas station in Maywood. It’s yours. There’s a lot of money in gas. Consistent money. Legal money. You own your own business now, Bill. You’re free. What do you need? You need a drink?

No, I don’t need anythin’…

You need a drink? Excuse me.

[Bill] Fuck.

[Roy] Can you get this man a scotch? So, where are things with the party? Any news?

Fred’s dead, man. I ain’t no goddamn Panther no more.

You sure about that?

[soft dramatic music playing]

[envelope rustles]

[William O’Neal remained an active member of the Black Panther Party and a paid FBI informant until the early 1970s, earning today’s equivalent of over $200,000.]

[interviewer] What would you tell your son about what you did then?

I think I’ll let your documentary put a cap on that story. I don’t know. I don’t know what I’d tell him, other than… I was part of the struggle. That’s the bottom line. I wasn’t one of those armchair revolutionaries. One of those people that wanna sit back now and judge the actions or inactions of people when they sit back on the sideline and did nothing. At least I had a point of view. I was dedicated. And then I had the courage to get out there and put it on the line, and I did. Um… I think I’ll let history speak for me.

[man] Stoppin’ down.

[man 2] Call when it’s speed.

[“Eyes On The Prize 2” premiered on PBS January 15th, 1990, Martin Luther King Day.]

[Later that evening, William O’Neal committed suicide.]

[At the time of his assassination, Fred Hampton was only 21 years old. Mark Clark, also slain, was 22.]

[During the raid the police fired 99 shots. The Black Panthers fired 1. Nevertheless, the seven survivors faced numerous charges, including attempted murder.]

[crowd singing indistinctly]

[Jewel on speakers] Remember this. Prayer is good. If Fred could be murdered while he slept, remember what can happen to you, while you’re on your knees facing that bed.

[crowd cheering]

[protestor] ♪ Our brother Fred Hampton ♪

[protesters] ♪ Our brother Fred Hampton ♪

♪ Was a great, great Panther ♪

♪ Was a great, great Panther ♪

♪ He was the deputy chairman ♪

[In 1970, the survivors of the raid along with Hampton and Clark’s mothers filed a $47.7 million lawsuit alleging a conspiracy among the FBI, Chicago Police Department, and State’s Attorney’s Office to assassinate Fred Hampton.]

♪ He was the deputy chairman ♪

♪ Of the Illinois Panthers ♪

♪ Of the Illinois Panthers ♪

♪ He was shot through the head ♪

♪ He was shot through the head ♪

♪ While asleep in his bed ♪

♪ While asleep in his bed ♪

♪ ‘Cause he loved the people ♪

♪ ‘Cause he loved the people ♪

♪ And he served the people ♪

[After 12 years of fighting for justice, the case was settled for $1.85 million, at the time the longest civil trial in US history.]

♪ And he served the people ♪

♪ And power! ♪

♪ Power! ♪

♪ Power! ♪

♪ Power! ♪

♪ Power! ♪

♪ Power! ♪

♪ Power to the people! ♪

♪ Power to the people! ♪

♪ And the people’s power ♪

♪ And the people’s power ♪

♪ It’s your kinda power ♪

♪ It’s your kinda power ♪

[25 days after the assassination, Deborah Johnson gave birth.]

[She remained an active member of the Black Panthers until the Illinois chapter’s dissolution in 1978.]

♪ Taken from the phoenix ♪

♪ Taken from the phoenix ♪

♪ There’s power to defeat it ♪

♪ There’s power to defeat it ♪

♪ There’s power! ♪

[Today, Johnson, now known as Akua Njeri, serves on the Advisory Board of the Black Panther Party Cubs, a revolutionary organization continuing the ongoing fight for the self-determination of Black People.]

♪ Power! ♪

♪ Power! ♪

♪ Power! ♪

♪ Power to the people ♪

♪ Power to the people ♪

[protestor] ♪ We’ve got The free-breakfast program ♪

[Fred Hampton Jr. is the party’s Chairman.]

[Fred] We always say at the Black Panther Party, that they can do what they want to, to us, we might not be back. I might be in jail, I might be anywhere, but when I leave, you can remember I said, with the last words out of my lips, that I am…

[crowd] I am!

[Fred] …a revolutionary. And you’re going to have to keep on saying that. You are going to have to say that I am a proletariat. I am the people. I’m not the pig. You’ve got to make a distinction.

Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party
Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party

[“Fight For You” by H.E.R. playing]


♪ All the smoke in the air ♪

♪ Feel the hate When they stare ♪

♪ All the pain that we bear ♪

♪ Oh, you better beware ♪

♪ Their guns don’t play fair ♪

♪ All we got is a prayer ♪

♪ It was all in their plans ♪

♪ Wash the blood From your hands ♪

♪ Freedom for the brothers ♪

♪ Freedom ‘Cause they judge us ♪

♪ Freedom from the others ♪

♪ Freedom From the leaders keepin’ us

♪ Freedom Gonna keep us strong ♪

♪ Freedom If you’re just long gone ♪

♪ Freedom ain’t free at all ♪

♪ Don’t see it, do you? ♪

♪ There’s no one There’s no one like you ♪

♪ Long as I’m standing We could never lose ♪

♪ I will always Always fight for you ♪

♪ I will always Always fight for you ♪


♪ And so institution ♪

♪ Causes so much confusion ♪

♪ Seems the only solution Is a new revolution ♪

♪ We can’t take it no more No, it can’t be ignored ♪

♪ When they knock on your door Will you be ready for war? ♪

♪ Freedom ‘Cause they need us ♪

♪ Free from how they see us ♪

♪ Freedom, won’t you free us ♪

♪ Freedom doesn’t Hang from the trees ♪

♪ Freedom from injustice ♪

♪ Freedom from corruption They’re aiming For destruction ♪

♪ You know They’re gonna see it through ♪

♪ There’s no one There’s no one like you ♪

♪ Long as I’m standing We could never lose ♪

♪ I will always Always fight for you ♪

♪ I will always Always fight for you ♪

♪ See it through ♪

♪ There’s no one There’s no one like you ♪

♪ I will always Always fight for you ♪

♪ For you, for you Fight for you ♪



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read More

Back to Black (2024) | Transcript

The life and music of Amy Winehouse, through the journey of adolescence to adulthood and the creation of one of the best-selling albums of our time.

The First Omen (2024) | Transcript

A young American woman is sent to Rome to begin a life of service to the church, but encounters a darkness that causes her to question her faith and uncovers a terrifying conspiracy that hopes to bring about the birth of evil incarnate.

The Listener (2022)

The Listener (2022) | Transcript

Follows a helpline volunteer who is part of the small army that gets on the phone every night, fielding calls from all kinds of people feeling lonely, broken, etc.

Shrek (2001)

Shrek (2001) | Transcript

A mean lord exiles fairytale creatures to the swamp of a grumpy ogre, who must go on a quest and rescue a princess for the lord in order to get his land back.

Weekly Magazine

Get the best articles once a week directly to your inbox!