Fred Hampton On The Price Of Peace #BlackHistoryMonth

sofreshandsogreen fred hampton quote black history month

I previously quoted author/activist James Baldwin on “The Price Of Poverty“. Now we have a quote from Fred Hampton on the price of peace.

Fred Hampton was the leader of the Chicago Chapter of The Black Panther Party for Self Defense in 1969. This quote is lifted from a speech called “Why Don’t You Die For The People?”, which you can hear and read in full below.

To some it may sound oxymoronic but if you truly love anything you should be willing to fight for it. Why wouldn’t you have to fight for peace? I’m reminded of a quote from Nobel Prize winner and environmentalist Wagari Maathai, “Anybody can dig a hole and plant a tree. But make sure it survives. You have to nurture it, you have to water it, you have to keep at it until it becomes rooted so it can take care or itself. There are so many enemies of trees.” Wouldn’t you say there are more enemies of peace?

Hampton knew the price of peace, justice, and struggle. He paid with his life.

“On December 4, 1969, Chicago police assigned to State’s Attorney Edward Hanrahan fired almost 100 shots into an apartment containing seven sleeping members of the Illinois Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. Four Panthers were wounded. Mark Clark and Fred Hampton were killed.” [1]

Fred Hampton was 21 years old.

If you ever think about me,
and if you think about me niggers,
and if you ain’t gonna do
no revolutionary act
forget about me.

I don’t want myself on your mind
If your not going to work for the people.

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 a commitment”,
Only Because of the simple reason that,
“I’m too young to die”,
“I want to live a little bit longer”…
What you did is,… you’re dead already.

You have to understand,
That people have to pay
the price for peace.

If you dare to struggle,
you dare to win.

If you dare not struggle, then
god damn-it, you don’t deserve to win.

Let me say peace to you.
If you’re willing to fight for it.

Let me say in the spirit of liberation…
I’ve been gone for a little while.
At least my body’s been gone
for a little while.
But I’m back now.
And I believe that I’m back to stay.

I believe that I’m going to do my job.
And I believe that I was born,
not to die in a car wreck;

I don’t believe that I’m going to die
in a car wreck.

I don’t believe I’m going to die
slipping on a piece of ice;

I don’t believe I’m going to die
because I got a bad heart;

I don’t believe I’m going to die
because of lung cancer.

I believe that I’m going to be able to
die doing the things I was born for.

I believe that I’m going to be able
to die high off the people.

I believe that I will be able to die
as a revolutionary in the
international revolutionary
proletarian struggle

and I hope that each one of you will
be able to die in the international
proletarian revolutionary struggle
or you’ll be able to live in it.
And I think that struggle’s
going to come.

Why don’t you live for the people.
Why don’t you struggle for the people.

Why don’t you die for the people.


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