Tragedies of recent years remind us of how much work we have ahead to reach lasting peace between races. If history teaches anything, it’s that we can progress as people if we approach each other with respect and fairness. But only when we willingly revisit disturbing times, and savor lessons once taught, can we hope to avoid repeating the same unfortunate steps in the future.
“Judas and the Black Messiah” joins a remarkable collection of films from the past year that highlight the missteps addressing racial tension in the U.S. This remarkable epic recreates, in painstaking detail, sordid events of the late 1960s when the FBI believed it essential to embed an informant into the Black Panther Party to control one of the organization’s leaders, Fred Hampton. Informing public opinion would not be enough; the agency was determined to limit Hampton’s ability to influence how people would react to its efforts to improve day-to-day life for millions.