Judas and The Black Messiah Review
By Marlon Crump – Marlon is a JOIN participant with incredible writing talent
“War is politics WITH bloodshed, politics is war WITHOUT bloodshed.”
Chairman Fred Hampton’s audience address in “Judas and The Black Messiah.”
NOTHING fears an oppressor and a jealous, hateful person more than someone who can effectively organize masses of people.
In grade school if you informed on a fellow classmate, you were labeled as a “tattletale” by the other classmates, and demonized. On the street and in prison, if you anonymously informed the police and prison officials of criminal activity taking place you were labeled as a “Snitch, rat, stool pigeon, etc, etc.”
A paid informant/snitch/stool pigeon/ rat is not unknown or foreign to us especially when it involves and affects the community. In biblical times, Samson was betrayed by Deliah to his enemies because they feared his great strength. David was betrayed twice to King Saul, who was very jealous of him.
And of course, Jesus was betrayed by one of his own disciples, JUDAS for silver coins.
When I learned a few months ago that a movie biopic of Fred Hampton Sr, Chairman of the Chicago Chapter Black Panther Party was going to be released; I was THRILLED! Years ago, I took interest in reading about Hampton’s history, and his community consciousness.
We both, somehow were similar. I can ESPECIALLY relate in regards to an illegal police raid in my home.
Both actors, Daniel Kaluuya (Chairman Fred Hampton) and Lakeith Lee Stanfield (William “Bill” O’Neal) didn’t disappoint in their prolific portrayal performances. Kaluuya’s portrayal of a very young real life black revolutionary gifted with enough social and vocal skills to catch a deaf ear could’ve rumbled mountains. The mass and velocity in his vocal skills onscreen were exceptionally equivalent to the real life late Fred Hampton, himself.
The film depicts his early rise within the Black Panther Party as its Deputy Chairman, his awesome ability to address and attract crowds, unifications of other organizations, gangs, his loving relationship with girlfriend Deborah Johnson, F.B.I informant William O’Neal, police harassment………and the tragic events leading up to his assassination by Chicago Police in conjunction with F.B.I on December 4th, 1969.
Words are beautiful, but action is supreme!
His ability to unify communities, gangs, and other cultures (including white communities and the Young Patriots) earned him high honors, praises and recognition among the masses of many. He boldly walked into places that would be deemed as unsavory, to bring forth change and peace. Hampton also had exceptional educational skills, as was depicted in the film.
I want him off the street! Charge him with something! Anything!
Consequently, his powerful presence and presentations among the communities marked him as a national security threat, by the F.B.I. Its director J. Edgar Hoover addressed his agents, in an auditorium of the urgency to expedite it’s counter intelligence program (COINTELPRO) to ultimately eliminate The Black Panther Party.
Additionally, any left-wing, anti-war, and communist groups affiliated with them.
Lakeith Lee Stanfield’s portrayal of F.B.I informant William “Bill” O’Neal was similar to Daniel Kaluuya’s portrayal of Fred Hampton. A few times throughout the film, a 1989 interview of O’Neal was shown in various scenes as to his “involvement” with the Black Panther Party.
You’re looking at eighteen months for the stolen car, and five years for impersonating a federal officer. Or you can go home.
It was common COINTELPRO practice during the Civil Rights era to use individuals accused of petty, (sometimes even serious) crimes as “paid informants” to infiltrate organizations they viewed as a threat to the government, in exchange from incarceration.
A badge is more scarier than a gun.
O’Neal stealing a car and impersonating an F.B.I agent earned him a visit from a REAL F.B.I AGENT. His options were to either serve time in prison, or go undercover to infiltrate and penetrate the Black Panther Party and Fred Hampton.
O’Neal, of course, agrees to the deal.
It infuriates me reading the F.B.I’s historical vicious attacks of Black Leaders using devious “dirty tricks” to disrupt, discredit, and destroy them if they couldn’t arrest them on trumped up charges. The agent manipulates O’Neal into believing that the Black Panther Party were “terrorists” and no different from the KKK.
(As if the KKK ever served their communities with free breakfast programs, meals, education, and medical care.)
O’Neal’s efforts in informing the agent of the BPP’s activities throughout the film at times took a toll on him, but reluctantly continued his mission, with the threat of incarceration still hanging over his head. Tensions and mistrust within the BPP arise, but only briefly once Chairman Fred is arrested on a trumped up charge of theft.
If you dare to struggle, you dare to win! If you dare not struggle, then, god@#%* it, you don’t deserve to win!
Kaluuya’s graphic, captivating performance, and deliverance of the iconic young black leader was as if I was literally in Chairman Fred’s world. Everyone is blessed with a gift, and this goes without saying in his case. The sight of a young black man leading an army of armed black men ready to defend themselves catches even the blindest of eyes.
One of Hampton’s most powerful, inspirational quotes that continue to echo into the ears of every black revolutionary to this very day is “You can murder a revolutionary but you can’t murder a revolution!”
I believe I’m going to die doing what I was born for! I believe I’m going to die high off the people! I’m going to die for the people, because I live for the people! I live for the people, because I love the people!
The timing of this movie’s release is more impeccable than anyone could have anticipated. Fast forward to the year 2020 of historical massive police brutality protests, and rallies……… despite the destruction from looters to discredit the demonstrations.
Rewind back to December 4th, 1969.
I once wrote that “There is nothing more frightening, more scary, more terrifying than someone opening and coming through your door……….unannounced ” What’s even MORE frightening is when a calvary of cops breaking into your home and kill you in cold blood: WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING!
Chairman Fred Hampton never got to see the predawn police raid into his home. He never got to see the cop who aimed his gun at his girlfriend’s belly bearing their unborn child (He was slipped a sleeping drug earlier on by O’Neal.) He never got to look down into a barrel of the gun that fired two bullets in the back of his head.
Instead, he just laid in his doorway in a pool of his own blood.
“Judas and the Black Messiah” is a masterpiece for the masses of minds for all communities to adapt an absolute clear consciousness of how far we have fought with the power of a leader………….and the power of community.
“Just even a conversation in certain locations. It taps into other war stories and certain experiences Chairman Fred and the Illinois Black Panther Party impacted on the party and the people.”
Fred Hampton Jr, son of Chairman Fred Hampton.