The family of legendary civil rights leader Fred Hampton has raised enough money to save his childhood home and renovate it into a museum dedicated to shedding light on the Black Panther Party and its work, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Hampton's son, Fred Hampton Jr., and his fiancée who was with him the night he died, Akua Njeri, have spent years raising money in an attempt to save the home from foreclosure, South Side Weekly reported last year. They had a GoFundMe page to help cover the cost of buying the house and refurbishing it to turn it into a museum.
Last week, the spellbinding film Judas and the Black Messiah premiered in theaters and on HBO Max, bringing renewed interest into Hampton's life, work and tragic assassination.
As the film's actors promoted the film, there was considerable backlash online to the fact that Hampton's family was still struggling to raise the necessary funds to save the house. Many criticized the film studio and people behind the movie for not making an effort to save the home themselves.
But since the movie's release, the GoFundMe page reached its goal of $350,000, raising about $8,000 more than what was asked for.
"We did it, y'all! Despite all the struggles and hardship to get here, we reached a milestone in the campaign to save the Hampton House. It's nothing but revolutionary love to everyone who made this happen," Hampton's family wrote on the GoFundMe page.
"We feel it's significant on this day, February 17, 2021, the birthday of Minister Huey P. Newton to conclude this aspect of the fundraising via GoFundMe. We will be providing updates via SavetheHamptonHouse.org on how to assist with ongoing work with The Hampton House. On to Phase 2: Restoration! Although we still must Maintain, We...#SavedTheHamptonHouse," the family wrote.
Hampton Jr. told the Chicago Sun-Times they plan to turn the home into a community center and restart some of the programs that made the Black Panther Party popular and necessary in Chicago.
The newspaper reported that Hampton's parents bought the building in 1958 and it is where he spent his formative years. The apartment building stayed in the family even after Hampton's death. But it was foreclosed upon in 2018 and Hampton Jr., along with his mother Njeri, have fought to keep it in the family.
They eventually bought the building but have been looking to raise money to help turn it into a space for the community.
The GoFundMe page said the family wants to "preserve, protect, and rehabilitate the childhood home of Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton."
They are aiming to make the building a landmark, build it out into a museum and run educational services. They will also have a community garden, space for community engagement and potentially a music studio.
Hampton Jr. and Njeri both served as consultants on the film and actors LaKeith Stanfield, Daniel Kaluuya and Dominique Fishback all credited both with adding a sense of realism to their portrayal of Hampton's life and tragic ending, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“There were other titles that were floated, other stories that were floated and it was a battle back and forth. Down to the clothes that were worn, the music, who smoked cigarettes and who didn’t. We were on set so we had lots of struggles. Every battle wasn’t won, but many of them were,” Njeri told the newspaper.