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Fred Hampton Quotes from the Revolutionary Activist

Fred Hampton was a captivating revolutionist who worked for social change during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

The Fred Hampton quotes below show the many ways he inspired his community. 

What have you learned about Fred Hampton? 

Hampton began working with the Black Panther Party in the mid-1960s.

He was instrumental in bringing social change throughout Chicago, including arranging a non-aggression pact amongst Chicago’s street gangs and organizing BPP’s free breakfast program.

He soon became the deputy chairman of BPP’s Illinois chapter. 

Later, Hampton’s leadership caught the attention of the FBI.

They considered Hampton a threat to U.S. society.

In 1969, local police officers murdered 21-year-old Hampton during an early morning raid of his apartment.

The work of Fred Hampton inspires modern activists to continue fighting towards racial equality. 

To learn more about Fred Hampton’s views, check out the thoughts below.

Don’t forget to also check out these powerful activism quotes that will inspire you to action. 

Powerful Fred Hampton quotes

1. “In plain proletarian worker’s language, it takes two to tango.” – Fred Hampton

2. “I’m not going to die slipping on no ice.” – Fred Hampton

3. “Power anywhere where there’s people!” – Fred Hampton

4. “Let me just say: Peace to you, if you’re willing to fight for it.” – Fred Hampton

5. “You can jail a revolutionary, but you can’t jail the revolution.” – Fred Hampton

6. “People have to be armed to have power, you see.” – Fred Hampton

7. “Nothing is more important than stopping fascism, because fascism is gonna stop us all.” ― Fred Hampton

8. “Socialism is the people! You afraid of yourself. If you afraid of socialism, you afraid of yourself.” – Fred Hampton

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9. “You don’t miss the water ‘til the well runs dry.” – Fred Hampton

10. “Don’t worry about the Black Panther Party. As long as you keep the beat, we’ll keep on going.” – Fred Hampton

Fred Hampton quotes on society

11. “We’re gonna have to do more than talk. We’re gonna have to do more than listen. We’re gonna have to do more than learn. We’re gonna have to start practicing and that’s very hard. We’re gonna have to start getting out there with the people and that’s difficult. Sometimes we think we’re better than the people so it’s gonna take a lot of hard work.” – Fred Hampton

12. “That we might be in school now, might think we’re on the mountain top, but we’re gonna come down to the valley, because people in the valley, commitment’s in the valley, oppression’s in the valley, aggression, repression, fascism, all exists in the valley. No matter how nice it might be on the mountain top, we’ve got a commitment, so we’re going back. We got to go back to the valley.” – Fred Hampton

13. “Like we always said, if you’re asked to make a commitment at the age of twenty and you say I don’t want to make that commitment only because of the simple reason that I’m too young to die, I wanna live a little bit longer—what you did is, you’re dead already.” – Fred Hampton

14. “Why don’t you live for the people? Why don’t you struggle for the people? Why don’t you die for the people?” – Fred Hampton

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15. “I was born in a bourgeois community and had some of the better things in life, but I found that there were more people starving than there were people eating, more people that didn’t have clothes than did have clothes, and I just happened to be one of the few. So I decided that I wouldn’t stop doing what I’m doing until all those people are free.” – Fred Hampton

16. “Everything would be alright if everything was put back in the hands of the people, and we’re going to have to put it back in the hands of the people.” – Fred Hampton

17. “And how do they fool you? Because they pick the leaders they want. And they put those people up there and portray them as being your leaders when, in fact, they’re leaders of nobody.” – Fred Hampton

18. “With no education, you have neocolonialism instead of colonialism, like you’ve got in Africa now and like you’ve got in Haiti. So what we’re talking about is there has to be an educational program. That’s very important.” – Fred Hampton

19. “We know that political power doesn’t flow from the sleeve of a dashiki. We know that political power flows from the barrel of a gun.” – Fred Hampton

20. “I have a lot of respect for Martin Luther King. I think he was one of the greatest orators that the country ever produced.” – Fred Hampton

21. “We’re going to fight racism not with racism, but we’re going to fight with solidarity. We say we’re not going to fight capitalism with black capitalism, but we’re going to fight it with socialism.” – Fred Hampton

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22. “We have to start learning, and you learn through practice. We have to start making mistakes, and you learn through making mistakes.” – Fred Hampton

23. “We understood that politics is nothing but war without bloodshed and war is nothing but politics with bloodshed.” – Fred Hampton

24. “I’m telling you that we’re living in an infectious society right now. I’m telling you that we’re living in a sick society. And anybody that endorses integrating into this sick society before it’s cleaned up is a man who’s committing a crime against the people.” – Fred Hampton

25. “Changing your name is not gonna change our set of arrangements. The only thing that’s gonna change our set of arrangements is what’s gotten us into this set of arrangements. And that’s the oppressor.” – Fred Hampton

How do you use your voice? 

Activist Fred Hampton worked towards giving power back to and educating his community. 

Education is empowerment.

Talk about issues you are passionate about with family, friends, fellow students, etc.

Whether online or IRL, these conversations can birth the beginnings of social change.

The conversations may be uncomfortable at first.

But don’t let fear get in the way of making your voice heard. 

Expressing yourself doesn’t have to be through talking.

Try experimenting with other mediums such as art, writing, theatre, music, cooking, etc.

It’s all about finding what empowers you. 

Which of these Fred Hampton quotes and sayings compels you the most?

We would love to hear your thoughts!

Nia Simone McLeod
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  1. Phil O’Sofa

    January 20, 2021 at 1:22 PM

    Fred Hampton was assassinated on the first birthday I actually remember, so I wasn’t conscious of racism or the struggle of black peoples or American slavery until later. My first hero was Muhammad Ali, which may seem strange to some, as I’m from Irish stock & raised a third generation over the sea, a Briton. Growing up in the 1970’s though, the struggles for independence and equality were in sharp focus worldwide. Fred’s words chime louder as I get older, and I just hope I live to see social justice for the descendants of the slave trade, since that is the most pressing issue in the western world, in my opinion. I’m biased too because I have skin in the game, one might say. Among my favourites of his proclamations are ‘education is empowerment’, ‘ You can’t build a revolution with no education‘, and ‘ Nothing is more important than stopping fascism, because fascism is gonna stop us all’ but most importantly… “I am a revolutionary”

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