ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Judas and the Black Messiah

History of Law Enforcement and Racism

Based on a Hollywood film about a member of the Black Panther Party, the author explores the history of deep-rooted racism in law enforcement and the structural and institutional continuities that persist.

Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) is a Hollywood movie based on the life of prominent Black activist Fredrick Allen Hampton (played by Daniel Kaluuya) from Chicago, United States (US). Directed by Shaka King, the movie presents Hampton’s life as the leader of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP) and follows the events that led to his murder by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Chicago police as witnessed by the felon-turned-FBI-informant William O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield).

FBI agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons) offers to drop the felony charges on O’Neal and turn him into an informant infiltrating the BPP in Chicago. O’Neal grows in rank from an errand boy to BPP’s chief of security in Chicago, and eventually reports that he doesn’t see the Panthers as terrorists. But that doesn’t interest or convince Mitchell. Hampton’s efforts to unify the street gangs and organisations representing various communities worry the FBI leadership. The FBI not only spreads misinformation to create animosity among other street gangs towards the BPP but also conspires to manipulate Hampton into bombing the city council building.

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Updated On : 25th Sep, 2021
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