Theory read

Fred Hampton on action without education

An excerpt from the documentary The Murder of Fred Hampton. Transcript below.

You know, form it right. You dig? Let me give you an example: Uh, Jomo, Jomo Kenyatta 1 formed an excellent revolution with no education, and all it did in the end thing, Jomo told them motherfuckers, he said…well, uh, you know, you can educate, uh, hate in every blood. I mean, the brother, after he beat the revolution, now I’m going to oppress you. Another example: Papa Doc in Haiti. 2 Papa Doc in Haiti hated everything white. Man, you couldn’t put this white paper in front of Papa Doc’s face, but he moved all the white people out and he took over to be oppressor, he did, because of no education. And if the people had been educated they’d have said, that “We don’t hate the motherfuckin’ white people, we hate the oppressor, whether he be white, Black, brown, or yellow.” So we got to know the educational program to find out what is going to be in the finale.

(Hampton)Lot of people would, Jomo Kenyatta’s called not a ‘never-revolutionary’ but an ‘ex-revolutionary.’ So is Papa Doc. They brought on successful revolution. That thing in the Mau-Maus was a bitch. Bantu, freedom fighters, all that kind of action. What we saying is, is that the end. But you don’t judge Castro now. You can’t do it. Nobody in this room can judge whether Castro’s going to be a revolutionary now. Uh, (unclear). We talking ’bout things, y’know, meet with, uh, China, the People’s Republic, and even at the state they in now, talking about even going on further into a Communistic state. That’s what we talkin’ about. Those are revolutionary. So we got to understand here, the educational program you have, to be able to figure out whether we’re going the right lines, where the people will end up in a situation, where they can be able to really control themselves. You understand what I’m saying? Uh, with no education, the people that take the local foundations start stealing money, because they won’t be really educated to why it’s the people’s thing anyway. You understand what I’m saying?

(Hampton) With no education you have neocolonialism instead of colonialism. Like you got in in Africa now, like you got in, uh, in uh Haiti. So, what we talking about is, it has to be uh, educational program, that’s very important. As a matter of fact, this is so important to us We, it’s so important to us, that a person has to go through a six-week of our political education, before they can consider themself a member of the Party, able to even run out ideology for the Party. Why? Because if they don’t have any education, then, they’re nowhere. You dig what I’m saying? You nowhere. Because you don’t even know why they doing what they doing. You be, you might get caught up in the emotionalist, uh, you understand me? You might, you know, you done caught up, and caught being poor, and they want something. And then, if they’re not educated, they’ll want more, and before you know it, they’ll be capitalist, and before you know it we’d have Negro imperialists.


  1. Kenyan anti-colonial activist and politician who governed Kenya as its Prime Minister from 1963 to 1964 and then as its first President from 1964 to his death in 1978.
  2. François Duvalier, also known as Papa Doc, was a Haitian politician who served as the President of Haiti from 1957 to 1971. Known for his brutal tactics of political suppression and cult of personality.

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