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‘Judas And The Black Messiah’ Inspires Bill To Drop J. Edgar Hoover’s Name From FBI Headquarters

Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee wants the name of the controversial former head of the agency removed from the Washington D.C. building.

The true story of Fred Hampton was brought to life in the Golden Globe Award-winning film Judas and the Black Messiah. Now, a Democratic lawmaker is introducing a bill to rename the FBI headquarters in Washington D.C.

According to Complex.com, Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee said he will reintroduce a bill pushing for former FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover’s name to be removed from the building. Hoover was famously racist and for years targeted Black public figures from Billie Holiday to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Fred Hampton. 

Cohen was inspired to reintroduce the film after seeing Judas and the Black Messiah, told Yahoo News’ Skullduggery podcast that Hoover “doesn’t deserve the honor and recognition of having the nation’s premiere law enforcement agency headquarters named for him. The civil rights we enjoy today are in spite of J. Edgar Hoover, not because of him.”

The bill has 22 co-sponsors.

RELATED: Lakeith Stanfield Talks ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’ 

Despite the intentions of the legislation, Judas and the Black Messiah director Shaka King felt the bill wasn’t impactful enough. 

“Cosmetic change is change of some kind, but it’s not really any kind of redress,” King said. 

“It’s not fixing anything. It’s actually a fairly hollow statement. A real statement is, ‘Let’s take a look at COINTELPRO and the damage it’s caused, and let’s engage in some historic justice.’”

Fred Hampton was chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party during the late 1960s. The FBI had targeted him among other activists as threats and moved to neutralize his influence. He was shot and killed as he slept by Chicago police in a raid in December 1969. He was 21 years old. 

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