A Wichita bar is contributing to efforts to save the Chicago home of a legendary leader of The Black Panther Party, Fred Hampton, who was assassinated by the FBI and Chicago Police in 1969.

Vann’s Lounge, at 13th and Vesta in Wichita, is hosting a celebration of the 52nd anniversary of The Black Panther Party from 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday, Oct.7, with funds going to the #SaveTheHamptonHouse program to turn the home into a museum.

There will be authentic African art and crafts for sale, food, live DJ, music and spoken word, and open mic.

The Black Panther Party was a problem for authorities in the late 1960s. The Panthers were riling up the Black community across the country with notions of uplifting themselves without reliance on the government and patrolling neighborhoods to protect them from the police.

The Black Panthers initiated programs for their own Black schools, free breakfasts for children, medical needs, and transportation for people to visit loved ones in prisons.

The Man came down hard.

As part of a secret program called COINTELPRO, the FBI coordinated with local police forces and informants to destroy the Panthers, resulting in public gun battles and the assassination of Hampton, chairman of the Illinois Panthers Chapter, and fellow Panther Mark Clark.

Clark was sitting guard in the living room of the Hampton home the early morning of Dec. 4, 1969, and was killed when police broke in. Hampton had been drugged by a Panther informant, and was shot at point-blank range while unconscious and in bed with his pregnant girlfriend.

An inquest ruled the case justifiable homicide, but Hampton and Clark’s families fought 10 years in a civil lawsuit, for which they were awarded $1.85 million – with a third each paid by Chicago, Cook County and the federal government.

International Revolutionary Day acknowledges the assassinations every year on Dec. 4.

The home sits at 2337 W Monroe Street (now Fred Hampton Way) in Maywood, IL, and is where Hampton grew up.

#SaveTheHamptonHouse is an effort to protect the legacy of The Black Panther Party and Chairman Hampton. The house’s preservation is in progress and support is needed to preserve the property and transform it into a historic site where the works of the Black Panther Party can be displayed and available for people to visit.

For info, call local contact 316-806-0298, visit www.SavetheHamptonhouse.org, donate at http://www.gofundme.com/8ekze8-save-the-hamton-house, or email BlackPantherPartyCubs124@gmail.com.

The documentary “Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” tells the story of the organization. It’s available to watch on Netflix.

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