Judas and the Black Messiah

Judas and the Black Messiah ★★★½

Whoa—a Warner Bros movie where the cops are the bad guys.

So of course it’s somewhat digestible for white liberal audiences, aside from all the cop-killing. (Well, even then, whenever the Panthers use force, it’s justified as defense in most of the scenarios depicted.) Though I think it’s at least a good start for people not familiar with the murder of Fred Hampton.

Defenders of our capitalist white supremacist system would love for you to believe this turbulent time is over—the tail-end of an era of segregation. The FBI has reformed after J Edgar’s death in ‘72, and Fred Hampton and the Panthers are an “issue” of the past. But that couldn’t be any further from the truth. 

The FBI has been picking off leaders of our current Black liberation movement and charging them with bogus offenses in an attempt to stifle positive change. Someone from my neighborhood is being silenced this way. Others are being targeted by local law enforcement as well.

For a big-budget film about Fred Hampton’s legacy, I believe he would want there to be more immediacy in regard to its defining subject. He would probably not want it to be about him at all. The movement—the revolution is what matters. Not the revolutionary. 

“You can kill a revolutionary, but you can never kill the revolution.”

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