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 of the Young Patriots Organization and the founder of the Young Lords as a civil and human rights movement Jose Cha Cha Jimenez.[1] It had Jack (Junebug) Boykin, Bobby Joe Mcginnis and Hy Thurman as leading members of the Young Patriots along with many other leading members from the Black Panthers and Young Lords. The Rainbow Coalition's goal was to expand symbolically to join forces and later included various radical socialist groups and community groups like the Lincoln Park Poor People's Coalition.[2] It was associated with the rising Black Power movement and Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, which mobilized some African-American and Latino 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 later members of various several other local ethnic groups like Rising Up Angry, Mothers and Others who were willing to follow the leadership of Chairman Fred Hampton, the Young Patriots, and the Young Lords under the national leadership of Jose Cha Cha Jimenez. The Coalition brokered treaties to end crime and gang violence. Their 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, Fesperman and Jimenez and their colleagues believed that the Richard J. Daley Democratic Party machine politics 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.


  1. ^ Amy Sonnie and James Tracy, Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels and Black Power: Community Organizing in Radical Times (Melville House Publishing, 2011)
  2. ^ Jakobi Williams, From the Bullet to the Ballot: The Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party and Racial Coalition Politics in Chicago (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2013.)

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