The Angola 3- who are they?
Voices from Solitary: The Louder My Voice the Deeper They Bury Me
A Defined Voice
They removed my whisper from general population
To maximum security I gained a voice
They removed my voice from maximum security
To administrative segregation
My voice gave hope
They removed my voice from administrative segregation
To solitary confinement
My voice became vibration for unity
They removed my voice from solitary confinement
To the Supermax of Camp J
And now they wish to destroy me
The louder my voice the deeper they bury me
I SAID, THE LOUDER MY VOICE THE DEEPER THEY BURY ME!
The Angola 3 – Herman Wallace (left), Robert King (centre) and Albert Woodfox (right). This is the only photo in existence of the three of them together.
Free all political prisoners, prisoners of war, prisoner of consciousness.
Who are they -Reprinted from Wikipedia
The Angola Three are three men, Robert Hillary King (born Robert King Wilkerson), Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace, who were put in solitary confinement for decades in Angola Prison, Louisiana after the death of a prison guard.
While inside prison, contact with members of the Black Panthers led to the creation of a prison chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1971. The men then organized prisoners to build a movement within the walls to desegregate the prison, to end systematicrape and violence, for better living conditions, and worked as jailhouse lawyers helping prisoners file legal papers. They organized multiple strikes and sit-ins for better conditions. Woodfox and Wallace were convicted of the 1972 stabbing murder of 23-year-old prison guard Brent Miller. King was said by authorities to be linked to the murder but was not charged.
The three men were taken out of the general prison population and were held in solitary confinement after Miller’s murder in 1972. They remained in solitary confinement until former black panther member Malik Rahim of Common Ground Collective, and a young law student, Scott Fleming, in 1997 discovered that these men were still locked up. They began investigating the case, questioning the facts of the original investigations at Angola and raising questions about their original trials.
Robert Hillary King was released after 29 years in solitary confinement after his first conviction was overturned and he pleaded guilty to a lesser conspiracy to commit murdercharge. Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox are still prisoners in Angola prison and are working to get released. In March 2008 they were moved, after 36 years, from solitary confinement to a maximum security dormitory.
Albert Woodfox has had two appeal hearings (one in November 2008 and one in May 2010) which have resulted in his conviction being overturned and him being granted full habeas corpus. Both appeals were overturned. Immediately after the first in November 2008, both men were moved out of the dormitory, separated and placed back in isolation and in March 2009, Wallace, along with a group of 15 inmates from Angola, was moved to Hunt Correctional Centre where a closed cell isolation tier was created for the first time. In November 2010, Albert was moved to David Wade Correctional Center which is seven hours north of his family and supporters, and stripped of his phone and visiting rights.
A third hearing is due in Spring 2012, and the two men are also bringing a civil case against the state of Louisiana, which is due to take place in Autumn 2012.
Both men, whose sentences for their original crimes have long since passed, suffer from a range of different medical issues – some due in part to their conditions of confinement and their enforced sedentary lifestyle.
Amnesty International is calling on the Louisiana authorities to end the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of Woodfox and Wallace, and to remove them immediately from solitary confinement.
Their cases have gained increased interest over the last few years. Since his release, Robert Hillary King has worked to build international recognition for the Angola 3. He has spoken before the parliaments in the Netherlands, France, Portugal, Indonesia, Brazil and Britain and about the case, and political prisoners in the U.S.. King was received as a guest and dignitary by the African National Congress in South Africa, and has spoken with Desmond Tutu. Amnesty International has added them to their ‘watch list’ of “political prisoners” / “prisoners of conscience.”
They have a pending civil suit ‘Wilkerson, Wallace and Woodfox’ vs. the State of Louisiana which the United States Supreme Court ruled has merit to proceed to trial based on the fact that their 30+ years in solitary confinement is “inhumane and unconstitutional”. The outcome of this landmark civil case could eliminate long term solitary confinement in U.S. prisons.
They are the subject of 2010 documentary In the Land of the Free, directed by Vadim Jean and narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. The film features Robert King, telephone interviews with Woodfox and Wallace, and interviews with attorneys and others involved with the cases – including the widow of Brent Miller, who believes the men are innocent of her husband’s murder.
They were also the subject of a 2006 documentary film 3 Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation and of a music video produced by Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics in protest of the incarceration of the Angola 3 and featuring Saul Williams, Nadirah X, Asdru Sierra, Dana Glover, Tina Schlieske, Derrick Ashong and Stewart.
Herman Wallace is the subject of an ongoing socio-political art project entitled “The House That Herman Built”, in which artist Jackie Sumell asked Wallace what his dream home would be like, and documented his response in various media. In 2012, the film “Herman’s House” was released.
- “Doubts Arise About 1972 Angola Prison Murder”. NPR. 2008-10-27.
- “Lawyers call for release of ‘Angola 3,’ nearly 36 years after guard’s murder”. Times Picayune. 2008-03-17.
- ‘Angola 2’ Leave Solitary Cells in La. After 36 Years March 27, 2008
- Angola 3 TV music video
- The House that Herman Built
- Herman’s House