Brooklyn, N.Y. — Nearly 200 people packed the auditorium of the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza on March 27 to hear Albert Woodfox of the Angola Three speak about his new book, “Solitary: Unbroken by 4 Decades in Solitary Confinement.”
A Black Panther prison organizer in Louisiana’s infamous Angola, a slave plantation turned prison, Woodfox, along with Robert King Wilkerson and Herman Wallace, was framed for the 1972 killing of a prison guard. Woodfox spent the next 44 years in solitary confinement until winning his freedom in 2016.
Woodfox was interviewed by professor and journalist Jelani Cobb. He spoke of the harsh conditions of abuse, poverty and racism that he endured growing up in the Deep South, and how that led him into a life of petty crime. He talked about discovering the Black Panther Party and how this changed his life.
Woodfox expressed the pain of losing Herman Wallace to cancer — he died just two days after being released in 2013 — after he had been denied proper care inside the walls. And he spoke with pride about how he and Robert King Wilkerson, who was released in 2001, travel around the country speaking against mass incarceration and in solidarity with political prisoners.
The event was attended by several Panther veterans and organizers in solidarity with Black liberation political prisoners who remain behind prison walls, including members of the Jericho Movement and the New York Coalition to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Photo by Anne Pruden