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Annual Chairman Fred Streetz Party Honors Icon’s Legacy 

Comrade Cool, a member of the Black Panther Party Cubs, stands near the bust of Fred Hampton in Maywood on Aug. 30. | Shanel Romain 

Tuesday, August 30, 2022 || By Shanel Romain || @maywoodnews 

Community members from all over the world are in Chicago and Maywood on Tuesday to celebrate the life and legacy of slain Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton. 

Hampton was assassinated by law enforcement officials on Dec. 4, 1969 inside of his apartment at 2337 W. Monroe St. in Chicago. Born Aug. 30, 1948, Hampton would have been 74 years old today. 

Each year on Aug. 30, Hampton’s son, Black Panther Party Cubs Chairman Fred Hampton Jr., organizes the Chairman Fred Streetz Party in memory of his iconic father. 

The commemoration starts at the apartment on Monroe Street, which Hampton Jr. and others call Ground Zero, before moving to the Fred Hampton mural at 2746 W. Madison St. on Chicago’s West Side. 

The original mural was painted in 2010 by artist Dasic Fernandez. A new mural was painted over the old one in 2020 by Bronx artist Andre Trenier. 

From the mural, community members traveled to Maywood, where Hampton was raised and attended Irving Elementary and Proviso East High School. Hampton Jr. has turned his father’s boyhood home at 804 S. 17th Ave. in Maywood into a living museum. 

Not far from the home, the village’s swimming pool is named after Hampton. A bust of Hampton by renowned sculptor Preston Jackson is located in front of the aquatic center. 

On Tuesday evening, community members planned to gather in the Maywood park where the Fred Hampton Aquatic Center is located and listen to live music, eat food and remember the slain civil rights icon who gave his life fighting injustice. 

“I think this is a wonderful idea to do this,” said Wendy Lawson, who was at the park early ahead of the events scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday. “This is my first time attending this.” 

The boyhood home of Fred Hampton, located at 804 S. 17th Ave. in Maywood, is decorated on Aug. 30, which would have been Hampton’s 74th birthday. | Shanel Romain 

Lawson said she went to Irving with Fred and still recalls his presence as a strong leader with a passion for the underdog. 

“I thought he was a pioneer,” she said. “He had convictions and he stood by his convictions and he wanted to help underprivileged people. We followed him wherever he went. We’d meet up at the park on 10th Avenue in Maywood and have protests at the schools. He was a born leader.” 

Comrade Cool, a member of the Black Panther Party Cubs, said the energy at the annual gathering is always positive and welcoming. 

“It feels good to be out here with the people,” she said. “We’ve got people from all over the world coming out here. We have the Indigenous community out here. The energy is good. One thing Chairman Fred said is, ‘Everybody don’t have to be a revolutionary but in your lifetime you should at least commit one revolutionary act.”

Cassandra Greer-Lee, who helped organize the annual Streetz Party, said she was touched by Hampton’s legacy through his son, Chairman Hampton Jr. Greer-Lee said when her husband contracted COVID-19 while in Cook County Jail, Hampton Jr. offered his support. 

“Fred Jr. has been one of my  biggest supporters fighting for me,” Greer-Lee said. “He has become my brother and comrade. My husband died Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020.” 

Greer-Lee said celebrating what would have been Hampton Sr.’s 74th birthday is bittersweet. 

“It’s always a blessing because he’s a legend but it’s also bittersweet because he should be here,” she said. “He was fighting for our people but he’s not here to enjoy his wife and his son who are still fighting for us in the community that really needs him. But I don’t question God. His legacy lives on and that’s why we’re out here.”  

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