Maywood street, statue honor slain Panther leader Hampton
September 9, 2007
BY MONIFA THOMAS Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org
From now on, Oak Street in Maywood will be known as Fred Hampton Way.
Relatives of the slain Black Panther leader joined congressmen,
activists and Maywood residents Saturday to dedicate the street and a
statue of Hampton that now sits in front of the Fred Hampton Family
Last year, efforts to name a street on Chicago's West Side for
Hampton failed amid controversy that Hampton and the Panthers
advocated violence against police.
But there was no such debate in Maywood, whose mayor, Henderson
Yarbrough, said the village council "unanimously, proudly" voted to
give Hampton his due.
"There ought to be some footprints in the sand in relation to this
man," said the Rev. Al Sampson, one of about 75 people at the
ceremony. "Fred Hampton represents part of the tradition of
liberation freedom fighters."
Killed in police raid in '69
Maywood's police chief attended the event, along with U.S.
Representatives Danny Davis and Bobby Rush, a co-founder of the
Illinois Black Panther Party.
Hampton, who grew up in Maywood, and fellow Panther Mark Clark were
gunned down by Chicago Police in a 1969 raid at Hampton's apartment.
Hampton had helped bring the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther
Party to national prominence and also brokered a nonaggression pact
Because Hampton wanted to be a lawyer, a scholarship fund for black
law students now bears his name, and several scholarship awards were
given at Saturday's dedication.
Hampton's brother Bill Hampton said the statue and the street are an
appropriate tribute to a man who fought for "justice, freedom and
equality for all people."
Asked what she thought about the street, Hampton's mother, Iberia
Hampton, said: "I love it."