The movie “Judas and the Black Messiah”, which opens on Friday, has received critical acclaim and is a crime drama about the real story of Fred Hampton and William O’Neal, the leaders of the Black Panthers – the FBI informant who betrayed him

But Puerto Rican activist Felipe Luciano recalls another story about Hampton, largely off-screen – the friendship of two activists that began in prison and laid the foundation for a much broader alliance between blacks, Latinos, whites and others Members of the working communities submits for civil rights

“He was the one who got Cha Cha to move from gang warfare to organization,” said Luciano of Hampton and his friendship with José Cha Cha Jiménez, a founding member of the Young Lords, the Puerto Rican activist organization

“From then on they became long, fast friends. Cha Cha often speaks with love and admiration about it. He met his mother. He met the people in his family. He met his wife,” said Luciano. “And the rest is history”

While most people might associate the term Rainbow Coalition with Jesse Jackson’s 1984 presidential campaign, the first multicultural Rainbow Coalition was launched on Jan. Founded April 1969 in Chicago by Hampton, which Luciano called “the most progressive movement of its time” “

The diverse movement was spearheaded by the Chicago Chapter of the Black Panthers and initially supported by other groups in the city, including the Young Lords, who turned into an activist organization for Puerto Rican and Latin American communities, and the Young Patriots – an activist organization that consisted mainly of southern whites

The Young Lords have been controversial for their tactics and policies, but they are credited with advocating and demanding better housing, health care, education and living conditions for Puerto Rican communities across the country

“We were all not paid, we all lived in bad apartments, we all received no education, we all let the police kick our asses,” said Luciano, describing the difficulties faced by many white and marginalized whites in the 1960s faced in America “Why shouldn’t we get together?”

Luciano, who was born in East Harlem and co-founded the New York chapter of the Young Lords, said Hampton could find common ground with other groups because he understood their oppression

Hampton recruited and assembled coalition groups to support one another in protests, strikes, and other actions that called for community empowerment and empowerment

“He could go into an Appalachian hangout and tell them, ‘I think we need your help and you need ours,'” said Luciano

On-screen, “Judas and the Black Messiah” contains historical footage of the Black Panthers movement from the 1960s and recreates Hampton’s passionate speeches that shake the activist crowd

“So how do we win this war? What is our deadliest weapon?” Hampton (played by the award-winning Daniel Kaluuya) asks on the screen “There is strength in numbers, power wherever there are people”

Shaka King, the director, said what appeals to him and many activists today is Hampton’s use of words

“He had the ability to make these ideas, which are generally complex, incredibly accessible in a fun, funny, and witty way,” said King. “He is an example if you speak to activists today who are doing this work , they all point to him as godfather and hero “

Hampton was the vice chairman of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panthers and a youth organizer in the NAACP

Luciano recalls meeting Hampton on a trip to Chicago. He said Hampton had “a bewitching style” that attracted people of all backgrounds, even if they didn’t initially understand the discrimination faced by others had

“It was difficult for Appalachians to understand the privilege of white skin,” recalls Luciano as an example of a cultural wall that Hampton could overcome. “But when we got closer and started talking, touching and listening to each other they started to understand what the deal was but they really did understand the oppression of being poor and being working class “

Today, Luciano said, much of the advances in celebrating and defending diversity are thanks to early activists who were able to overcome racial barriers to working together

He remembered how veterans of the Puerto Rican World War I made the all-black 369 Regimental Army Band were pioneers of jazz and Latin music

These included legendary trombonist and composer Juan Tizol Martínez, who played with Duke Ellington, and songwriter Rafael Hernández Marín, who is known for hundreds of popular Latin American songs, including the bolero “Silencio” “

Luciano also pointed to landmark figures such as the black Puerto Rican intellectual and activist Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, who played an important role in documenting Afro-Latin American and Afro-American history during the Harlem Renaissance

“It is impossible to live in America and have been colonized by the United States and not internalize the racism of that country. We call it ‘colorism’ in Puerto Rico In Puerto Rico, every skin color has a value,” he said

Luciano said that many Puerto Ricans had ties to the black community but still believed that their children should not marry black people because they endured the heaviest pressures of discrimination

“You don’t want to be her” Con los negros no se puede janguear, “they told us,” which means “you can’t hang out with black people,” he said, “And they always said to our daughters’ tenemos que adelantar la raza ‘which means you have to move the race forward and move the race forward “

And now, through his film, both Luciano offscreen and King want younger generations to remember early community activists like Fred Hampton who fought against discrimination

“I think we try to define them first as young community organizers who really come from a place of love for their people,” King said of the Black Panthers, “who are interested in providing them with the necessary services that they did not consider the government to be”t provision”

Arturo Conde is an editor and bilingual freelance journalist. He writes for La Opinión A Coruña and has been published in Fusion, Univision and City Limits

Fred Hampton

World news – USA – A young Latino lord remembers Fred Hampton, the leader of the Black Panthers: He united the oppressed