Nov 14 2008
the entire program
In 1972, three black prisoners in Angola State Penitentiary, Louisiana, organized their fellow prisoners against institutionalized rape, murder, and segregation within prison facilities. Robert â€œKingâ€ Wilkerson, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, started their own chapter of the Black Panther Party inside prison walls, and organized and radicalized their fellow prisoners. In retaliation prison officials slapped spurious murder charges on the three men and placed them in solitary confinement for over three decades, where two of them still remain in what is now known as America’s most notorious and violent prison. Now, a documentary called The Angola 3 chronicles how these men were systematically isolated and silenced for so many years. It features Robert King Wilkerson, who was retried and released in 1999. Wallace and Woodfox remain imprisoned, and as part of the ongoing campaign to free them, a civil lawsuit is expected to come before the Louisiana Supreme Court on the grounds of cruel and unusual punishment. Angola’s prisoners continue to work the surrounding plantations bending under watch of armed guards on horseback. Many of the prisoners are incarcerated on minor offenses and 85% of those sentenced to serve time there will never leave. Conditions inside the prison remain horrific to this day.
This story of modern day slavery will be screened on Saturday, November 15, from 3â€“6 pm at L.A. Grand Theater, 400 W. Washington Boulevard in LA. Robert King Wilkerson will be present for a discussion with the audience and he now joins us on the program.
This event has been organized by the Southern California Library at www.socallib.org.