Former Black Panther Party Leader Isn’t Happy With Fred Hampton’s Portrayal In ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’
Judas and the Black Messiah is a 2021 American historical biopic that depicted the story of an important event in history.
Directed by Shaka King, the movie revolves around the betrayal of Fred Hampton, the chairperson of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s.
The former leader of the Black Panther Party, Elaine Brown, is not happy with the portrayal of Fred Hampton in the movie as she says that he was much more than his two-dimensional portrayal in the biopic.
Brown Is Not Happy With The Movie
In an interview with Insider, Brown was asked to rate the accuracy of the depiction of the Black Panther Party in the recently released movie Judas and the Black Messiah.
She revealed she was not too happy about the portrayal of the revolutionary party she was a part of for so long.
In the interview, she talked about the free breakfast program for the children organized by the Black Panther Party. She explained it was not just a centerpiece of the party but an ideology.
According to Brown, it was a tool to make people understand and recognize that rights such as the right to food, right to eat, right to medical care were compulsory provisions to all citizens of the country.
She opnied that people shouldn't have to pay for the bare minimum things that keep them alive or fight for the things that should've been rightfully provided to them.
Brown further said that Hampton was ideologically firm, whereas Shaka King (director) and Ryan King (producer) weren't because they didn't understand the purpose of the program that they presented in their movie.
She criticized the character of Hampton in the movie as being two-dimensional and narrow, being nothing compared to the actual person.
She was disappointed at the movie being about Hampton as much as it was about William O’Neal while portraying the two characters as two sides of a coin.
According to Brown, O’Neal had no significance in the history of Black Panther Society or the Black community.
She further explained that the Party didn’t represent a threat to the gun issue as depicted by the media but had an agenda to dismantle the entire system to free the 400 years of oppression faced by Black people.
History Of Black Panther Party And Brown
Founded in October 1966 in Oakland, California, by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, the Black Panther Party was a revolutionary organization with an ideology of Black nationalism, socialism, and armed self-defense, particularly against police brutality.
The Party was active in the United States between 1966-1982.
Brown was the first and only female leader of the Black Panther Society between the years 1974-1977, joining the party in 1968.
As a Panther, she previously ran for City Council in Oakland, California, twice. She has been involved in prison and education reform and criminal justice since the 1970s.
She is the author of A Taste of Power and The Condemnation of Little B and is currently writing a biography of Jamil Al-Amin (formerly H. Rap Brown).
Brown is also the founder and CEO of Oakland & the World Enterprises, Inc., a non-profit organization committed to launching and sustaining for-profit companies for cooperative ownership by formerly incarcerated people and those facing significant social obstacles to economic survival.