FILM AT REDCAT PRESENTS
The Murder of Fred Hampton: The Struggle Continues
The landmark documentary The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971, 88 min.), by Howard Alk and Michael Gray, is a testament to Black activism and a chilling record of covert police and FBI actions. Begun to portray the activities of the Chicago branch of the Black Panther Party and its dynamic young leader, Fred Hampton, the film becomes a passionate, clear-eyed response to Hampton’s brutal assassination by police later that year. “Hampton’s killing was the gravest domestic crime of the Nixon administration,” Noam Chomsky has said.
The screening is followed by a panel discussion with artist Sam Durant, activist and educator Ericka Huggins, and UCLA scholar Robin Kelley.
Curated by Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud as part of the Jack H. Skirball Series.
“The charismatic chair of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party accomplished a great deal before he was cut down at the age of 21. Hampton headed the Chicago chapter of the Panthers, where he formed a multiracial “rainbow coalition” of organizations, including Students for a Democratic Society, the Blackstone Rangers street gang, and a Puerto Rican organization known as the National Young Lords. He also started a community service program that included a free breakfast program for children and a free medical clinic, and held political education classes.
And under his leadership, the Chicago Black Panthers monitored the police and looked out for instances of police brutality. Most of all, Fred Hampton brokered a truce among Chicago’s major street gangs…
…Hampton struggled against the same problems Black America faces today, and lost his life for it. His life mattered.”
-David A. Love, theGrio
Filmmakers Mike Gray and Howard Alk were already shooting a portrait of this charismatic speaker and community organizer when his murder occurred. Arriving at the crime scene only a few hours after the police raid, the unsettling footage they captured was later used to contradict news reports and police testimony in what many believe to be Hampton’s assassination. Alk and Gray collaborated on several other documentary filmswith Gray’s Production Company, The Film Group. The twoproduced American Revolution II (1969) and the seven part educational series Urban Crisis and the New Militants, both works dealing with the race related social turmoil in Chicago at the time.
Sam Durant is a multimedia artist whose works engage a variety of social, political, and cultural issues. Often referencing American history, his work explores the varying relationships between culture and politics, engaging subjects as diverse as the civil rights movement, southern rock music, and modernism. He has had solo museum exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Dusseldorf, S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Zealand. His work has been included in the Panamá, Sydney, Venice and Whitney Biennales. His work has been extensively written about including seven monographic catalogs and books. In 2006 edited a comprehensive monograph on Black Panther artist Emory Douglas’ work. His recent curatorial credits include Eat the Market at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Black Panther: the Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the New Museum in New York. He was a finalist for the 2008 Hugo Boss Prize and his work can be found in many public collections including The Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth, Tate Modern in London, Project Row Houses in Houston and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Durant teaches art at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California.
Ericka Huggins is an educator, Black Panther Party member, former political prisoner, ally and poet. For 35 years, Ericka has lectured in the United States, and internationally, Restorative Justice practices and, the role of spiritual practice in creating and sustaining social change. In 2016, in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the Black Panther Party, Ericka speaks about the importance of inclusive grassroots movements. From 2011 through 2015 Ericka was professor of Sociology and African American Studies in the Peralta Community College District. At Merritt College, home of the Black Panther Party, she co-created and taught a course, “The Black Panther Party-Strategies for Organizing The People”.
Robin Kelley is Professor and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History in the Department of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research has explored the history of social movements in the U.S., the African Diaspora, and Africa; black intellectuals; poverty studies and ethnography; colonialism/imperialism; organized labor; and constructions of race. Kelley’s essays have appeared in the Journal of American History, African Studies Review, New York Times Magazine, Utne Reader, New Labor Forum, and Counterpunch. Kelly has written several books, including: Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination, and Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original. His most recent book, Africa Speaks, America Answers!: Modern Jazz in Revolutionary Times, examines the lives of four artists and the groups they led during the age of African decolonization.
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REDCAT | THE ROY AND EDNA DISNEY/CALARTS THEATER is located at 631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 – at the corner of 2nd and Hope Streets inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex. Parking is available in the Walt Disney Concert Hall parking structure and at adjacent lots. Unless otherwise specified, tickets are $11 for the general public, $8 for members. Tickets may be purchased by calling 213.237.2800 or at www.redcat.org or in person at the REDCAT Box Office on the corner of 2nd and Hope Streets (30 minutes free parking with validation). Box Office Hours: Tue-Sat | noon-6 pm and two hours prior to curtain.