Judas and the Black Messiah

Education and Inspiration Coming Together On-Screen

Daniel Kaluuya, gives an amazing performance as Black Panther Leader Fred Hampton in the film Judas and the Black Messiah.

Edwin BuggageEditor-in-Chief

The must-see movie of the current crop of films that are out is the much-anticipated Judas and the Black Messiah. That’s presently in theaters and available on HBO Max.

It is a riveting story as told by Director Shaka King about Bill O’Neal (Lakeith Stanfield) who steals a car using a counterfeit FBI badge as his weapon of choice. His immediate capture enables an FBI Agent (Jesse Plemons) to blackmail him into working as an informant. He then infiltrates the Chicago Chapter of the Black Panthers and works himself into the inner circle of its leader, Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya).

Kaluuya does an amazing job portraying the charismatic Fred Hampton, who led the Chicago Chapter and was brutally assassinated by police during a raid in 1969. Also, in real life O’Neal died in 1990 in what was determined as suicide.

While this film does take creative license with the story; but it is a compelling film that shows the apolitical outsider O’Neal, who when learning about the Panthers and all the good work they do in the community; he is torn between working as an informant and admiring the courage of the Panthers as they fight against injustice.

I think this is a must-see film and it lends itself in these times where people are fighting against systemic racism to check it out. But to keep in mind it is not an exact account of what happened during these times.

For a better look at the life of Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers; go to YouTube and type in Fred Hampton Documentary. There is a great documentary called “The Murder of Fred Hampton” from 1971.

Furthermore, I as am many thinking that it is time for us to focus on and study Black History not only in February but make it a 365 day a year endeavor. Then and only then can we and that includes non-Blacks make our communities better by being educated, informed, inspired, and committed to the struggle for justice and equality.

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