Free Reading of Black Panther Play at Dramatists Guild
Steven at Gangstas2010@gmail.com
The play is a huge amount of facts presented in fiction. About 95 percent of this is factual information. It centers on three major conversations between Jeff Fort, the legendary gangleader of the Blackstone Rangers, and Fred Hampton a 20 year old revolutionary who leads the Chicago Black Panther Party of Illinois must have had. The fear the FBI had was that Jeff Fort and Fred Hampton might actually join forces. In the last years of Hoover's reign, Hoover did not want to see the Black Panther Party double in size, and his determination to stop that from happening. Part of the story centers on, what made the FBI, so nervous of two 20 year old black kids from Chicago, and more importantly, what still blocks potential today?
At the first reading in Chicago, the surviving brother of Fred Hampton, Bill Hampton was present. He said not only were the facts correct (with a few corrections) but the character style and speech patterns were also correct. At another event, I met more ex Black Panthers who further affirmed the story and Fred Hampton's attorney, Jeff Haas, who in 1985 won a lawsuit against the city of Chicago for 1.8 million for wrongful death of Fred Hampton. They were all super excited about the script and holding up that history to light. I hope to see you there.