304 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 24 halftones, 3 figs., 4 maps, notes, bibl., index
John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture
The Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party and Racial Coalition Politics in Chicago
In this comprehensive history of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party (ILBPP), Chicago native Jakobi Williams demonstrates that the city's Black Power movement was both a response to and an extension of the city's civil rights movement. Williams focuses on the life and violent death of Fred Hampton, a charismatic leader who served as president of the NAACP Youth Council and continued to pursue a civil rights agenda when he became chairman of the revolutionary Chicago-based Black Panther Party. Framing the story of Hampton and the ILBPP as a social and political history and using, for the first time, sealed secret police files in Chicago and interviews conducted with often reticent former members of the ILBPP, Williams explores how Hampton helped develop racial coalitions between the ILBPP and other local activists and organizations.
Williams also recounts the history of the original Rainbow Coalition, created in response to Richard J. Daley's Democratic machine, to show how the Panthers worked to create an antiracist, anticlass coalition to fight urban renewal, political corruption, and police brutality.
"Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above."
"A welcome addition. . . to the substantive literature on the history of the Black Panther Party and on the contested legacies of the civil rights and Black Power movements in the United States."
“A fascinating work that everyone interested in the Black Panther party or racism in Chicago should read.”
--Journal of American History
“A vital historical intervention in African American history, urban and local histories, and Black Power studies. . . . A mandatory addition to the bookshelves of students and scholars.”
--History: Reviews of New Books
"Williams transforms the epic tale of the Illinois Black Panther Party into a compelling history. A gem of a book."
--Komozi Woodard, Sarah Lawrence College
"Williams provides a compelling, comprehensive, and much-needed account of Fred Hampton and the Illinois Panthers. In so doing, he documents the history of the Illinois Black Panther Party and the indelible imprint it left not only on Chicago, but on American politics as well."
--Yohuru R. Williams, Fairfield University
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