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Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. reflects on 50th anniversary of Black Panther assassinations

December 4, 2019




December 4, 2019


Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. reflects on 50th anniversary of Black Panther assassinations


Chicago: Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. Wednesday reflects on the death of Black Panther Chairman Fred Hampton and leader Mark Clark who were gunned down in their West Side apartment by State’s Attorney Edward Hanrahan’s handpicked 14-member Chicago police squad in a pre-dawn raid.


But they missed one, Bobby L. Rush, who today is Representative for Illinois’ 1st Congressional District. At the time, Rush was the Executive Minister of Defense for the Black Panther Party (BPP).


“They came disguised in ComEd trucks guns blazing. They meant to kill Rush. He was at home that night and came to me a few nights later at the Operation Breadbasket meeting,” recalled Rev. Jackson.  


“The assassination of Fred Hampton in many ways represents the modern urban struggle. The question remains why did they go to that house that night?” asked Rev. Jackson.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


“One has to wonder and observe the consistency of the shootings of young black men that continue today. It’s a pattern. Hampton and Clark’s deaths triggered a new dimension of our struggle,” said Rev. Jackson.


Rush, who was honored by Rev. Jackson two-weeks ago, said he was supposed to be among the dead that night, but he was at his State Street apartment. “Rev. Jackson saved my life because they were going to kill me, too,” Rush said.


Fred Hampton’s fiancée, Deborah Johnson, known as Akua Njeri, was nearly nine-months pregnant when the shooting began. She was among several people who gathered outside of Fred Hampton’s two-story home, 2337 W. Monroe, in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the assassinations.


With the shooting of Dr. King on April 4, 1968 and Fred Hampton killed December 5, 1969, Fred embodied the aspirations of that generation,” said Rev. Jackson. 


Media Contact:
Chinta Strausberg


Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizations he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.