Interview with Deborah Johnson
QUESTION 6
TERRY ROCKEFELLER:

You were telling me about Fred giving speeches once, and you told me about a speech he gave about "Someday We'll Be Together". Can you describe that?

DEBORAH JOHNSON:

Another beautiful thing about, um, Fred Hampton, was he was such a great speaker and, um, he really moved you to want to participate. And you could come to a rally, and say, "Well, I don't know about these Black Panthers. I've read that they have guns. I've read that they shoot people. I've read that they want to kill so many people a week." But you go to a rally, and hear Fred Hampton talking about the programs, you just be so, you'd get so excited about it. I remember, ah, we were at the People's Church on Ashland. And, um, ah, there was a record by Diana Ross and the Supremes, "Someday We'll Be Together". And that was playing in the background. And Fred Hampton was doing his speech, Chairman Fred was doing his speech, talking about naming the people in the party that had been murdered and killed. Who had died, ah, in the people's liberation struggle. He went on naming these people, then the contributions they made to the community, and saying, "Someday we'll be together in a revolutionary happy hunting ground." It was just so beautiful, and people were just, you can see the fire in people's eyes. They were just really excited, and they wanted to be a part of this, and they were like, "Well, I've got a job, but whatever I can do for my, well, really, to help myself. I'm a Black person, I need to help myself and my community." And everybody, all ethnic groups were there. Rich, poor, course there were police there too, you know, listening to what Fred Hampton had to say. But, ah, people from, ah, poor White communities, they were just fired up too, and you know Fred would direct them. He'd talk to people after the rallies, direct them to, well, you can work with the Young Patriots, or, ah, in uptown area, or you can work with the Young Lords, through the Hispanic, ah, group, um, or you could work with whatever. But we need everybody to participate because this is the people's liberation struggle.

TERRY ROCKEFELLER:

How did the speech that Fred gave with that music go? What were some of the things he said about who was gonna be together, how did he mix that one, how did it go?

DEBORAH JOHNSON:

I don't remember how Fred's speech went word for word, but, ah, when he was, ah, used the Diana Ross and the Supremes "Someday We'll Be Together." But he did say, ah, Huey was in jail at the time, and he said, "Someday we'll be together with our Minister of Defense, Huey P. Newton, who, ah, put a stop sign on the corner because young brothers and sisters were getting killed at that corner. Someday we'll be together with Al Prentice 'Bunchie' Carter, who was killed in a people's liberation struggle fighting for the people, living for the people, and he died for the people." And he went on to name, "someday we'll, ah, be together with, ah, Nate, Nate Junior," you know. And he just went on and named people, and it was just really, it was beautiful. It was beautiful. And you got the sense that these brothers and sisters that had went on before, whether they were incarcerated or had been murdered, somehow their spirit was still with us, encouraging us on, you know, to give us strength to go on and continue fighting, because we were on the right path.