The Lumberjack student newspaper
Photo courtesy Warner Bros

“Judas and the Black Messiah” delivers powerful message

Golden Globe nominated film “Judas and the Black Messiah,” can be simply described as a cinematic masterpiece.

“With Judas and the Black Messiah,” director Shaka King produces the thrilling true story about the radical Illinois Black Panther chairman Fred Hampton and FBI informant William O’Neal. From beautifully shot scenes to the stunning performances of Daniel Kaluuya (Hampton), LaKeith Stanfield (O’Neal), Dominique Fishback as Hampton’s supporting partner, Deborah Johnson, and many more; this exhilarating motion picture left me paralyzed for half an hour trying to process it all. This film carries you along an emotional rollercoaster of hope, love, anger, and utter disappointment with O’Neal’s betrayal that ultimately led to the late Hampton’s tragic end.

Watching the trailer I knew this was going to be an intense film, but I was not prepared to be as angry and upset as watching the entire film made me. I was familiar with the story of Fred Hampton; a promising leader succeeding in creating a “Rainbow Coalition,” facing a common enemy of brutal police presence in their communities as well as the systemic oppression brought upon by America’s government.

It crushed my soul knowing what was going to happen as the film approached its climax after witnessing how caring, wholesome, and powerful of a person he was. Someone so inspiring and generating a genuine difference was met with an unjust death due to racism and overall inhumane acts of the FBI. I even shed a few tears in the end.

The cause of Hampton’s death is no secret, in fact the FBI admitted to his inhumane murder that took place in 1969 — gunned down in a police raid, sleeping in his own home. Even though we know the tragic story of Hampton, the story this film presents will inspire you to believe there must have been a better outcome for the charismatic and sensational leader.

Something that stuck to me was the overall conflicting feelings that the young FBI informant O’Neal had when he became a part of the organization. You can honestly see a young man fighting with himself on whether he is making the right decision or not. After being welcomed into this party by Hampton, you can truly see that O’Neal is believing that he too is helping with the revolution that Hampton is so determined to make happen; that he believes in the cause that the Black Panthers stand behind.

In the late 60s, The Black Panthers were deemed as “The greatest threat to the internal security of the country,” according to the FBI director at the time, J. Edgar Hoover who was portrayed in the film by Martin Sheen. The BPP has always been criticized as a terrorist, militant group. Though they promoted open carry, they used this to spread awareness to Black citizens that are constantly threatened with police brutality, have the right to act in self defense. The BPP was a political organization that also provided free after school meals for children, medical funds and education for their neighborhoods, and advocated for class struggle no matter the race.

Hampton wanted to advocate for all those who were affected due to government corruption and injustice. Hampton’s radical Socialist views on how we can create a better future encouraged many to stand alongside him. When he died, Hampton was in the midst of building a revolution against a racist and classist government, helping people understand that no matter what walk of life you come from, you have the power to come together and make an earth shattering change.

This film represented the true African American experience in the 1960s. “Judas and the Black Messiah,” showed what could have been and what could still be, as long as there are people willing to fight for change. Throughout this film, Hampton reiterates that “Where there are people, there is power,” much like the voices that have been echoing the words “Black lives matter,” for years. We all must remember that we have power in our voices, we are able to make change happen, and in the words of Chairman Hampton and supporting organizations of a once promising coalition… “I am a revolutionary!”

Share This Post

More Stories

Nina G uses comedy to start conversations

During the virtual comedy event held by the SDRC, Nina Ghiselli tells her story and emphasizes the importance of student disability resources within schools.

It’s not just the Capitol Police

As the world watched from their televisions on January 6, we witnessed scenes unfold before our eyes that were, to many, unimaginable: supporters of President Trump swarmed the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, then proceeded to break in and

The San Jose State University Football Team Comes to Humboldt

On a day’s notice from administration, the SJSU football team spends a week and a half in Humboldt practicing because their county did not allow it. Students react to their presence on campus in the midst of a pandemic. Directed

Homelessness in Humboldt, CA

This is the first trailer of a homeless documentary created by HSU students. We have spent months filming and will continue to film throughout the next year. Follow the heartbreaking stories of the homeless community around Humboldt county and the

Thrifty Arcata

Taking a tour of the local thrift shops in Arcata during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed and produced by Skylar Gaven.

House Plants Generate Peace and Meaning During the Pandemic

Three different people with the same love for plants! House plants have become quite popular these days especially since we’re all basically stuck inside during the pandemic. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but these beautiful green oxygen-makers provide more

Prop 22 represents political favoritism of money over workers’ rights

California’s passing of proposition 22 on Nov. 5 represents a frustrating history of workers’ rights being trampled by the overwhelming influence of greed in politics.  This proposition forces app-based workers to be classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. This

Remembering Evelyn Andrews 10 months after her passing

By Katelyn Dendas It has been 10 months since my friend, teammate and freshman year dorm mate, Evelyn Andrews, passed away. I don’t remember what the grief counselor said or what transpired after that Monday, but I do remember arriving

Protestors seek to defund HSUPD

Two local, activist organizations work together to stage a sit-in against Humboldt State’s police department.

Getting stuck on the Trump train

Writer Anthony Aragon details his experience of accidentally joining a pro-Trump car rally.

Justin Turner exposes the World Series to COVID-19

Justin Turner didn’t need to be the story in the wake of the Dodgers’ first World Series victory in 32 years. Instead here we are, wondering what sort of, if any, punishment Major League Baseball will decide to hand down

Four more years of fear

News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.

Dismal democracy

The Lumberjack editorial staff comments on America’s flawed electoral system As the world watches the United States 2020 election results, waiting for our pseudodemocratic process to churn out a new president, historically unprecedented voting methods misrepresents the reported Election Day

The Mario triple pack invokes a nostalgia attack

When I was a child, the first video game system I owned was a Nintendo 64. Among the games I played was Super Mario 64. I played it all the time and when I wasn’t playing it, I was lying

Women’s lacrosse drops their competitive season

Greta Roberts, president and player of Humboldt State University’s women’s lacrosse team, made the decision with her coach and teammates to cancel the upcoming spring season. The team decided that not being able to recruit in the fall would be

Dobby’s proposition opinions

Haven’t voted yet? Well, you’re running out of time. Here’s a quick rundown of California’s propositions on the ballot this year

Corporations buy out propositions

In a series of general and misleading advertisements, corporate backers of Propositions 22 and 23 show their grubby hands

CDOR continues virtually

The Campus and Community Dialogue On Race returns covering global justice for Black Lives.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Local food management practices of the Tolowa Dee-ni, Yurok and other indigenous peoples.

Humboldt State Admin attempts to discredit the Lumberjack

***A Lumberjack editorial represents both the majority opinion of the student newspaper’s editorial board, nine editors, as well as the overwhelming majority of Humboldt State University’s student body. Collectively, an editorial echos, embodies and advocates for community beliefs.*** Insensitive communications

Music of the Moment 6

21 Savage and Metro Boomin drop a classic with “Savage Mode II”

Spartans arrive at HSU despite campus concerns

***Editor’s note: SJSU football program was tested in congruence with Mountain West conference guidelines*** The Spartans have arrived and this time they’re not carrying spears or shields. Instead the San Jose State football team stepped onto the Humboldt State campus

Music of the Moment 5

After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Comparisons between episodes of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone and our own dismal reality

Music of the Moment 4

YoungBoy Never Broke Again dodges the sophomore slump with his new album “Top.”

Self-Care Cuts

Changing your hair to change your life

HSU Seaweed Farm sets sail

The first commercially-approved seaweed farm in California will be on the map.

Music of the Moment 3

For better or worse, Big Sean is likely gone for good.

More Layers, More Protection?

Humboldt State demands double masking on campus, does more layers equal more protection?

The Ethnic Studies Bill is a Blessing

Ethnic Studies will thankfully become mandatory for all California State University students – as it should be.

The Complex Interface of Humans and Wildfires

How fire suppression is a mixed bag in Humboldt County Every fire season, blankets of smoke roll over Humboldt County. Here on the coast, that’s as close to wildfires as some of us get. But our practice of fire suppression

Defund HSU’s Police Department

Incidents of racism from the former UPD Chief, past examples of excessive force from current officers and a shrinking university budget.

How Not To Be Bitten By A Kitten

Please prepare to be prey Congratulations, a baby feline has recently come into your life. If they’re anywhere from 2-18 months, they bite. They see you as prey. Because you are prey. You always have been. You always will be.

Graduating Into Uncharted Waters

HSU graduates attempt to navigate a world turned upside-down by COVID-19 In May, Humboldt State University graduated hundreds of students, as it does every year. Unlike past years, graduates didn’t get to shake hands with their respective dean and receive

HSU Cultural Center Budget Slashed

Associated Students leaves student body devastated after significant reductions in cultural center’s budget.

All aboard the plague ship

Unprecedented times are met with normalized behavior, HSU puts students and community members at higher risk after reopening campus and student housing.

Music of the Moment

The hip-hop community rallies behind the Black Lives Matter Movement

Inside the Immune System

How the body uses multiple levels of defense against foreign intruders

Catcalling Can’t Continue

Verbal harassment toward women is about control and the assertion of gender discrimination