Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) continues to highlight Black activism and liberation organizations this Black History Month.

One of the reasons for the establishment of the Black Panther Party was to defend Black communities from police brutality, something modern day activists continue to fight against.

Fred Hampton, the chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, was from Maywood, Senator Lightford’s home town. He brokered a nonaggression pact between Chicago’s most powerful street gangs to make communities safer.

The Black Panther Party established a free breakfast program and looked after the needs of Black communities at that time.