Recommended by Charles Mudede
The Murder of Fred Hampton was not supposed to be about the murder of Fred Hampton. It was supposed to be about the life of the young Black Panther activist. But Hampton was killed by the Chicago police while Mike Gray and Howard Alk, the producer and the director, were working on the documentary. They were in Hampton’s apartment the day after the Chicago police shot the sleeping 21-year-old community organizer twice in the head and once on the shoulder. This doc was released in 1971, a little over a year after the assassination, and so it has about it (the interviews, reenactments, police footage, scenes of the Black Panther gatherings) a sense of urgency.