Slain activist Fred Hampton would have turned 73 years old Aug. 30, and his memory and legacy still loom large in Chicago and beyond.
The only surviving building with ties to Hampton’s activism is his childhood home, a two-flat in suburban Maywood that was rescued from foreclosure earlier this year. Now Hampton’s son, Fred Hampton Jr., is seeking a landmark designation for the house. Though signatures are not necessary to attain a landmark designation, Hampton Jr. is building community support for the idea with a petition.
“We say with the Hampton House, it’s bigger than the building, more significant than the structure,” Hampton Jr. said.
In May, we met with Hampton Jr. and his mother, Akua Njeri, to talk about their experience as cultural consultants on the Oscar-winning movie about Fred Hampton’s murder, “Judas and the Black Messiah.” During that discussion, he mentioned some of the programs they hope to continue and expand upon once a landmark designation is achieved.
“Chairman Fred’s programs of the triple C: children, community and cubs, which is done in the spirit of the Black Panther Party free breakfast program,” Hampton Jr. said. “We do that every Saturday right here. We have the Free Them All radio … because we say information is raw material for new ideas. In our studio, we had some young brothers and sisters who had some issues in the community. They came here into Hampton House studio, they recorded some songs. In Hampton House community garden we have right next door, people can come 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to get the vegetables …people can come whatever time if they see fit to come get these programs that meet the needs and desires of the people.”