Activist Fred Hampton Jr. and his mother, Akua Njeri, will give a talk on the life and legacy of civil rights advocate Fred Hampton Sr., at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 15, in Schroeder Hall, room 130. The duo will address Hampton Sr.’s dream of social progress fueled by solidarity between races, classes, and divisions.
This talk, which is part of the Illinois State University Speaker Series and COM Week, is free and open to the public. The event will feature highlights from the documentary Eye on the Prize, which features Hampton’s story.
The president and chairman of the Prisoners of Conscience Committee and the Black Panther Party Cubs (POCC/BPPC), Hampton Jr. focuses on organizing people to participate in their own fight. He is a spoken word artist and poet, highlighting race relations and law enforcement, and will perform some of his pieces at the event. Working behind and beyond prison walls, Hampton Jr. works to organize the black community, and expose brutal prison conditions.
Njeri was present during the assassination of her husband, Hampton Sr., on December 4, 1969, when she was nine months pregnant with their son, Hampton Jr. She delivered Hampton Jr. just over three weeks after the killing occurred. Currently, Njeri is the chairperson of the December 4 Committee, and is also on the board of the Advisory Committee for the POCC. The December 4 Committee is a group that aims to defend and maintain the legacy of the Black Panther Party. Njeri is also the co-author of the proposal to change the name of 1 Chicago Block of 2300 W. Monroe to “Chairman Fred Hampton Way.”
The Illinois State University Speaker Series seeks to bring innovative and enlightening speakers to the campus with the aim of providing the community with a platform to foster dialogue, cultivate enriching ideas, and continue an appreciation of learning as an active and lifelong process.