Month with Mada: Free Albert Woodfox
FREE ALBERT WOODFOX
On October 4, 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana, a press conference and Angola 3 Second Line commemorating the one year anniversary of death of Herman Wallace, one of the Angola 3. The 1pm event began at the Treme’ Center and ended with a Second Line to unveil the Solitary Garden Project, 1651 North Robertson Street.
For at least 41 years ago, the Angola 3–three young Black men, Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox, and Robert King–were put in solitary confinement and have spent a total of more than 100 years in the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola. They claimed their innocence and refused to be unheard or silenced; the fight for justice continues. (Read Amnesty’s report on the Angola 3)
Robert King, Angola 3 inmate was released in 2001, after 29 years of solitary confinement . As per Robert, “I may be free of Angola. But, Angola will never be free of me”.
Herman was given his freedom last year, but four days after being released, he passed away due to a terminal illness.
Albert Woodfox remains in Angola. Today, Albert is awaiting word from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals as his third overturned conviction will stand.
A recent article in the Journal of Law and Social Deviance titled “Activism Unshackled & Justice Unchained: A Call to Make a Human Right Out of One of the Most Calamitous Human Wrongs to Have Taken Place on Human Soil,” Southern University law professor and a dear friend of A3 Coalition, Angela A. Allen-Bell argues that the United States government’s repression of the Black Panther Party, (where it all began for the Angola 3), has had a major and significant impact on court proceedings for the Angola 3. “Terrorism, COINTELPRO, and the Black Panther Party – An interview with Professor Angela A. Allen Bell tells the truth about this overall situation. “The social movements of the 1960s/1970s remains an open wound for the nation itself”. “This is more than a national tragedy; this is a human wrong.”
Since 2009, the Angola 3 news projects has conducted numerous interviews focusing on different entities and aspects of the Black Panther Party. The sole concentrations at this time is to Free Albert Woodfox and abolish prolonged solitary confinement. These efforts are supported by the Coalition to Free the Angola 3, Amnesty International and Amnesty U.S.A. and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.
We come together as a people. We plea and cry out in remembrance of Herman’s life and legacy and continue with prayers and positive hope to fight each and every day for the release of Albert Woodfox.
Please correspond with Governor Bobby Jindal, the Attorney General’s Office, President Barack Obama and other local, state, and national constituents and visit amnesty.org for further information. To review the film “Land of the Free” go to www.inthelandofthe freefilm.co.uk or the main A3 website at www.angola3.org/; or www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kot68mrqCI to see The Amnesty International video about Angola 3.
Most importantly, FREE ALBERT WOODFOX, he has served time for a crime not committed. It is time for JUSTICE to prevail.
By Mada McDonald
The Drum Columnist
Month with Mada shares commentary on community and current events compiled by Mada McDonald, a public relations professional and community activist in Baton Rouge. Leave your comments below.