We’ve compiled a list of the top 60 Fred Hampton quotes to encourage you to defend your rights!
Fred Hampton was a civil rights activist and revolutionary socialist.
He became the chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party which inspired street gangs to work for social reform.
Be inspired by his boldness and fighting spirit.
Check out his powerful quotes below to learn more about him!
Let’s get started.
Best Fred Hampton Quotes
1. “If you walk through life and don’t help anybody, you haven’t had much of a life.”
2. “You don’t fight fire with fire. You fight fire with water. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity. We’re not gonna fight capitalism with Black capitalism. We’re gonna fight capitalism with socialism.”
3. “If you dare to struggle, you dare to win. If you dare not struggle, then damn it, you don’t deserve to win.”
4. “Like we always said, if you’re asked to make a commitment at the age of 20 and you say, ‘I don’t want to make that commitment,’ only because of the simple reason that ‘I’m too young to die, I wanna live a little bit longer,’ what you did is—you’re dead already.”
5. “People have to be armed to have power, you see.”
6. “Why don’t you live for the people? Why don’t you struggle for the people? Why don’t you die for the people?”
7. “You can kill a revolutionary but you can’t kill revolution, you can jail a liberator but you can’t jail liberation.”
8. “We don’t need no culture except revolutionary culture. What we mean by that, is a culture that will free you.”
9. “We understood that politics is nothing but war without bloodshed, and war is nothing but politics with bloodshed.”
10. “We ain’t gonna fight no reactionary pigs who run up and down the street being reactionary; we’re gonna organize and dedicate ourselves to revolutionary political power and teach ourselves the specific needs of resisting the power structure, arm ourselves, and we’re gonna fight reactionary pigs with international proletarian revolution.”
11. “A lot of people get the word ‘revolution’ mixed up, and they think revolution’s a bad word. Revolution is nothing but like having a sore on your body, and then you put something on that sore to cure that infection.”
12. “Yes, we do defend our office as we do defend our homes. This is a constitutional right everybody has, and nothing’s funny about that. The only reason they get mad at the Black Panther Party when you do it, is for the simple reason that we’re political.”
13. “I am the people, I’m not the pig. You got to make a distinction. And the people are going to have to attack the pigs. The people are going to have to stand up against the pigs. That’s what the Panthers is doing, that’s what the Panthers are doing all over the world.”
14. “The people have to have the power—it belongs to the people.”
15. “We got to face some facts—that the masses are poor, that the masses belong to what you call the lower class, and when I talk about the masses, I’m talking about the white masses, I’m talking about the black masses, and the brown masses, and the yellow masses, too.”
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16. “Nothing is more important than stopping fascism, because fascism is gonna stop us all.”
17. “Socialism is the people! You, afraid of yourself. If you are afraid of socialism, you are afraid of yourself.”
18. “You don’t miss the water ‘til the well runs dry.”
19. “I was born in a bourgeois community and had some of the better things in life, but I found that there were more people starving than there were people eating, more people that didn’t have clothes than did have clothes, and I just happened to be one of the few. So, I decided that I wouldn’t stop doing what I’m doing, until all those people are free.”
20. “Everything would be alright if everything was put back in the hands of the people, and we’re going to have to put it back in the hands of the people.”
21. “Black people need some peace. White people need some peace. And we are going to have to fight. We’re going to have to struggle. We’re going to have to struggle relentlessly to bring about some peace, because the people that we’re asking for peace with, are a bunch of megalomaniac warmongers, and they don’t even understand what peace means.”
22. “A lot of people think the Breakfast for Children program is charity. But, what does it do? It takes the people from a stage to another stage.”
23. “We have to start learning, and you learn through practice. We have to start making mistakes, and you learn through making mistakes.”
24. “Changing your name is not gonna change our set of arrangements. The only thing that’s gonna change our set of arrangements is what’s gotten us into this set of arrangements. And that’s the oppressor.”
25. “They talked us into buying candy bars, and throwing the candy away, and eating the wrapper.”
26. “We might not be back. I might be in jail. I might be anywhere. But when I leave, you’ll remember I said, with the last words on my lips, that I am a revolutionary. And you’re going to have to keep on saying that. You’re going to have to say that I am a proletariat; I am the people.”
27. “I have a lot of respect for Martin Luther King. I think he was one of the greatest orators that the country ever produced.”
28. “We’re gonna have to do more than talk. We’re gonna have to do more than listen. We’re gonna have to do more than learn. We’re gonna have to start practicing and that’s very hard.”
29. “I’m not going to die slipping on no ice.”
30. “That we might be in school now, might think we’re on the mountain top, but we’re gonna come down to the valley, because people in the valley, commitment’s in the valley, oppression’s in the valley, aggression, repression, fascism, all exist in the valley.”
Influential Fred Hampton Quotes That Talk About Politics and Revolution
31. “In plain proletarian worker’s language, it takes two to tango.”
32. “Power anywhere where there’s people!”
33. “We say that we will work with anybody and form a coalition with anybody that has revolution on their mind.”
34. “And how do they fool you? Because they pick the leaders they want. And they put those people up there and portray them as being your leaders when, in fact, they’re leaders of nobody.”
35. “You can’t build a revolution with no education. Jomo Kenyatta did this in Africa, and because the people were not educated, he became as much an oppressor as the people he overthrew.”
36. “We say it’s no longer a question of violence or non-violence. We say it’s a question of resistance to fascism or non-existence within fascism.”
37. “The Black Panther Party stood up and said that we don’t care what anybody says. We don’t think fighting fire with fire is best; we think you fight fire with water best.”
38. “Let me just say—peace to you, if you’re willing to fight for it.”
39. “We know that political power doesn’t flow from the sleeve of a dashiki. We know that political power flows from the barrel of a gun.”
40. “I don’t know if I like communism, and I don’t know if I like socialism. But, I know that the Breakfast for Children Program feeds my kids.”
41. “When you leave here, leave here saying the last words, before you go to bed tonight, say, ‘I am a revolutionary.’ Make that the last words in case you don’t wake up.”
42. “First of all, we say primarily that the priority of this struggle is class. That Marx and Lenin, Che Guevara and Mao Tse-Tung, and anybody else that has ever said or knew or practiced anything about revolution, always said that revolution is a class struggle.”
43. “I’m telling you that we’re living in an infectious society right now. I’m telling you that we’re living in a sick society.”
44. “We’re not metaphysicians, we’re not idealists, we’re dialectical materialists. And we deal with what reality is, whether we like it or not.”
45. “I believe I’m going to die doing the things I was born to do. I believe I’m going to die high off the people. I believe I’m going to die a revolutionary in the international revolutionary proletarian struggle.”
Fred Hampton Quotes to Explain What the Black Panther Party Is
46. “Don’t worry about the Black Panther Party. As long as you keep the beat, we’ll keep on going.”
47. “A lot of people don’t understand the Black Panthers Party’s relationship with white mother country radicals.”
48. “We said nobody would shoot a Panther but a pig, because Panthers don’t pose a threat to anybody but pigs.”
49. “We do not support people who are anarchistic, opportunistic, adventuristic, and Custeristic.”
50. “We’re not a racist organization, because we understand that racism is an excuse used for capitalism, and we know that racism is just—it’s a byproduct of capitalism.”
51. “We have Breakfast for Children because we teach the people, through practice, through observation and participation, that people can be there, free.”
52. “If there’s ever going to be any liberation in the mother country, ever gonna be any liberation in the colony, then, we got to be liberated by the leadership of the Black Panther Party and the black liberation struggle. We don’t negate that fact.”
More Fred Hampton Quotes
53. “With no education, you have neocolonialism instead of colonialism, like you’ve got in Africa now and like you’ve got in Haiti. So, what we’re talking about is there has to be an educational program. That’s very important.”
54. “If you ever think about me, and you ain’t gonna do no revolutionary act, forget about me. I don’t want myself on your mind if you’re not going to work for the people.”
55. “We’re gonna have to start getting out there with the people, and that’s difficult. Sometimes, we think we’re better than the people so it’s gonna take a lot of hard work.”
56. “Any program that’s revolutionary is an advancing program. Revolution is change.”
57. “Then somebody might believe it and you might, you know, end up in—what they call it—revolutionary happy hunting grounds.”
58. “No matter how nice it might be on the mountain top, we’ve got a commitment, so we’re going back. We got to go back to the valley.”
59. “You have to understand that people have to pay a price for peace.”
60. “And anybody that endorses integrating into this sick society before it’s cleaned up is a man who’s committing a crime against the people.”
What Does It Mean to Be a Revolutionary Leader?
Leadership entails knowing what the main concerns are, as well as why and how they should be addressed. Being a leader is the most difficult role, as your associates place their complete trust in you to achieve greater things for the sake of everyone.
Fred Hampton became one of the most influential and greatest leaders in African American history. He was so eager to help his community that he was willing to put his own life on the line.
Hampton taught us the value of education in understanding the issues we are fighting for. We must learn to stand firm and be hungry for the changes we seek.
Did you like these Fred Hampton quotes we’ve gathered? What do you think about his ideals? Comment your favorite quotes below.