Last Friday, Grassroots Leadership board and staff spent the evening with Robert H. King, the sole freed member of the Angola 3. We are so profoundly thankful for the opportunity to sit with King as he shared his experience as a political prisoner for 31 years, and to honor him for modeling resilience and hope in the service of social justice.
King, alongside fellow Black Panthers Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, spent 29 years in solitary confinement in the Louisiana Angola Prison after the 1972 killing of a prison guard, despite the absence of any physical evidence linking them to the murder. In truth, the Angola 3 were targeted for their activism and organizing against injustice inside the prison.
The International Coalition to Free the Angola 3 write, “Forty-two years ago, deep in rural Louisiana, three young black men were silenced for trying to expose continued segregation, systematic corruption, and horrific abuse in the biggest prison in the US, an 18,000 acre former slave plantation called Angola.”
In 2001, King’s conviction was overturned and he was released. Now a resident of Austin, TX, he has dedicated his life to campaigning against the abuses of the criminal justice system and advocating for the release of Wallace and Woodfox. Last year, Wallace was finally released at the age of 71, but tragically only lived to see 3 days of freedom due to advanced liver cancer. Woodfox remains in confinement today.
King proclaims, "I may be free from Angola, but Angola will never be free of me…". We are proud to stand with King in the fight for justice. Learn more about King's work, including his autobiography, HERE and the Angola 3 HERE.