Black History Month has been rough this year, but here’s an announcement to make things a bit better:
According to Deadline, Ryan Coogler is working on a new film titled Jesus Was My Homeboy, which is about the life of Fred Hampton. Starring Daniel Kaluuya as Hampton and Lakeith Stanfield as William O’Neal—third in command of the Chicago Panther and the FBI informant who supplied Cook County State’s Attorney Edward Hanrahan with info to aid in planning his attack—the film will chronicle “the rise and untimely demise of Hampton as seen through O’Neal’s eyes.”
Coogler isn’t the only notable name behind the forthcoming movie. Jesus Was My Homeboy will also be co-written and directed by Shaka King, known for writing and directing the acclaimed Newlyweeds. Sev Ohanian, Zinzi Coogler and MACRO’s Kim Roth and Poppy Hanks are set to executive produce. The screenplay will be based on a story by Shaka King, Will Berson, and the Lucas Bros.
As we shared on his death anniversary in 2017, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, Peoria Panther leader, were murdered by Chicago police officers working with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office on December 4, 1969. Neither Hampton nor Clark were inciting violence at the time of their attack. They were both asleep inside their Chicago home.
Driven by Cook County State’s Attorney Edward Hanrahan, the deadly raid of the local BPP chapter—which left four other BPP members severely injured—was one of multiple attempts to attack the Black Panther Party amid Cointelpro’s mission to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalist hate-type organizations and groupings, their leadership, spokesmen, membership and supporters,” as written in a FBI document.
Hampton was known for organizing a student chapter of the NAACP in Maywood, Ill. He also brought together poor Black, white and Puerto Rican people as part of the “Rainbow Coalition,” and inspired peace among several gangs in rivalry with one another.
Read more about Jesus Was My Homeboy here.