From the Bullet to the Ballot: The Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party and Racial Coalition Politics in Chicago


Jakobi Williams


In this comprehensive history of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party, Williams focuses on the life and violent death of Fred Hampton. Framing the story of Hampton and the ILBPP as a social and political history and using, for the first time, sealed secret police files in Chicago and interviews conducted with the often reticent former members of the ILBPP. Williams explores how Hampton helped develop racial coalitions between the ILBPP and other local activists and organizations.

Williams also recounts the history of the original Rainbow Coalition, created in response to the Richard J. Daley Democratic machine, to show how the Panthers worked to create an antiracist, anti-class coalition to fight urban renewal, political corruption, and police brutality.


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