Rainbow Coalition (Fred Hampton)
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The Rainbow Coalition was a coalition active in the late 1960s and early 1970s, founded in Chicago, Illinois by Fred Hampton of the activist Black Panther Party, along with William "Preacherman" Fesperman, Jack (Junebug) Boykin, Bobby Joe Mcginnis and Hy Thurman of the Young Patriots Organization and Jose Cha Cha Jimenez, the Puerto Rican founder of the Young Lords. It later expanded to include various radical socialist groups. It was associated with the rising Black Power movement, which mobilized some African-American discontent and activism by other ethnic minority groups after the passage of the mid-1960s civil rights legislation under Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson.
The coalition also included members of various local ethnic gangs, among whom Hampton, Rising Up Angry, the Young Patriots, and the Young Lords had brokered treaties to end violence between them. The leaders worked to reduce conflict by the treaties, as they believed that poor youths' fighting each other in gang wars achieved little benefit for them. Hampton and his colleagues believed that the Daley Machine in Chicago and the American ruling class used gang wars to consolidate their own political positions by gaining funding for law enforcement and dramatizing crime rather than underlying social issues.
Organizations in the Rainbow Coalition
- Black Panther Party
- The Patriot Party
- Young Patriots Organization
- Young Lords
- American Indian Movement
- White Panther Party
Amy Sonnie and James Tracy, Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels and Black Power: Community Organizing in Radical Times (Melville House Publishing, 2011)