The cast of the new film on Black Panther Fred Hampton visited a local Boy’s and Girl’s Club to inspire a new generation of creatives.
By Emma Kahmann.
Judas and the Black Messiah, released by Warner Bros this past weekend, showcases the FBI’s manhunt for Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, in the 1960s. Adapted from a screenplay by Will and King Berson, the film was primarily shot in the heart of Cleveland, Ohio; many of the city’s hometown actors were featured in the film, including Peter Lawson, former commissioner of Cuyahoga County. While actors in the movie depicted history on screen, they also made history in Cleveland, in particular film’s costume designer Charelese Antoinette.
During filming, the cast decided to give back to the community through engagements with the city’s children and a Q+A panel. Daniel Kaluuya, who plays Fred Hampton, visited the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Ohio to spend the day on a basketball court, playing foosball, and answering questions alongside Antoinette, whose work spanning TV and film includes movies such as Spike Lee’s See You Yesterday.
Inspired by the children at the Boy’s and Girl’s club, Antoinette donated leftover fabrics from the movie’s set, as well as 10 sewing machines so that the kids could create designs of their own. Antoinette’s donations and materials were enough for the club to offer a DesignYOU Friday costume class, where children attending the club could continue their fashion designs in an instructed course.
The story of Fred Hampton and the Black Panther Party is a history lesson showing what can be achieved through the power of community. Daniel Kaluuya, Charlese Antoinette, and the crew of Judas and The Black Messiah, carried this lesson forward with their time spent engaging and inspiring the community of Cleveland.