Our members-only podcast is now available to all! A People’s Anthology is a reading series of radical essays and speeches. Season one highlights six short texts related to Black liberation struggles in the U.S., from Claudia Jones to the Combahee River Collective. Find the other episodes and links to Apple, Spotify, and more here.
Read by Malcolm London and introduced by Asad Haider.
Born in 1948, Fred Hampton was a talented organizer from an early age, brokering peace among street gangs in his hometown of Chicago and striving to build a class-conscious, multiracial movement he called the “rainbow coalition.”
An active Black Panther, Hampton was constantly surveilled by the FBI and Chicago police. He was considered such a threat to national security that, at the age of 21, the FBI and police murdered him in his bed while he slept.
Hampton’s speech “Power Anywhere There’s People” was delivered at a church just a few months before his assassination, and outlines his belief in the importance of engaging the masses through socialist public service programs.
We have to understand very clearly that there’s a man in our community called a capitalist. Sometimes he’s Black and sometimes he’s white. But that man has to be driven out of our community, because anybody who comes into the community to make profit off the people by exploiting them can be defined as a capitalist. And we don't care how many programs they have, how long a dashiki they have. Because political power does not flow from the sleeve of a dashiki; political power flows from the barrel of a gun. It flows from the barrel of a gun! — Fred Hampton
Asad Haider is a founding Editor of Viewpoint Magazine, an investigative journal of contemporary politics. He is the author of Mistaken Identity and a co-editor for The Black Radical Tradition.
Malcolm London is an internationally recognized Chicago poet, activist, educator and musician.
Note: A transcript of this episode is available here.