Carl Hampton was a Black revolutionary leader in Houston,Texas. He was killed by the police on July 26, 1970., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Panther commemorated in Houston
By Gloria Rubac on August 2, 2012
Houston — Former Black Panthers, activists, family and friends gathered at the gravesite of Carl Hampton on July 26 to honor him and commemorate the 42nd anniversary of his assassination by Houston police. Hampton was only 21 years old when he was shot down in the street on a hot July night in 1970 by Houston cops stationed on top of St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church, just a block from the headquarters of Peoples Party 2.
A year earlier Hampton had gone to Oakland to learn about the Black Panther Party so he could start a Panther chapter in Houston. He did study and learn, but was told they had temporarily halted opening new chapters. So when he returned to Houston, acknowledging that the Black Panther Party was the number one party for the people, he began Peoples Party 2. It functioned like a Panther chapter, selling the Panther paper, holding revolutionary education classes, and initiating free breakfast programs, food give-aways and a free health clinic.
After Hampton’s death, the national Panther Party did authorize the Houston group to become a Panther chapter; James Aaron became the new chair.
Hampton was a revolutionary leader, grounded in Marxism and Leninism, and a student and follower of Mao Zedong. Mao’s “Little Red Book” was always in his back pocket. Hampton’s analytical and oratory skills captivated activists of all nationalities in Houston. He founded Houston’s Rainbow Coalition, composed of Panthers, the Mexican American Youth Organization and the John Brown Revolutionary League.
Hampton’s small son, Massai, was carried in his mother’s arms to the funeral in 1970. Today, 42 years later, he is becoming an activist in his own right. Massai Hampton recently addressed a rally in Bastrop, Texas, supporting Rodney Reed, who is on death row in Texas despite much evidence supporting his claim of innocence.
This year the Carl Hampton Memorial Committee unveiled a six-foot ledger that was placed on Hampton’s grave on July 25. The memorial was organized by former Panthers Sensei Benton and Ayanna Ade.