43 years in solitary confinement. 43 years in isolation for protesting inhumane prison conditions of himself and fellow inmates. 23 hours a day in a cell since 1973 with just 15 - 45 minutes outside, each day. Finally released in 2016, Albert Woodfox, passed away August 8, 2022, a liberated man.
As an avid reader of The SF BayView and California Prison Focus, I applaud the tenacious determination of both newspapers to educate folks like myself. We are kept in the dark on the truths of this system and the only way to find the truth is to read it from those who experienced it.
Fighting the accusation of killing prison guard Brent Miller, Mr Woodfox, and two other inmates, Herman Wallace and Robert King, became known as the “Angola Three” and were immediately sent to solitary.
In 2000, a civil suit filed by the Angola Three against the Louisiana Department of Corrections is still in the court. Prison officials denied its solitary confinement but “protective cell units” or “CCT a closed cell restricted.”. What’s the difference?
Throughout his solitary confinement, Mr Woodfox has not wavered in his innocence. Even the widow of the murdered guard believed the 3 men were not guilty or involved.
From his memoir, “Solitary”, Mr. Woodfox stated, “I thought it was sad that I had to come to prison to find out there were great African Americans in this country and in this world, and to find role models that I should have had available to me in school”.
Ain’t that the truth? Albert Woodfox got politicized and found the readings of international revolutionaries fighting injustice. After meeting with Black Panther Party members in an East Coast prison, Mr. Woodfox was transferred to Angola (Louisiana State Pen) where he formed a Black Panther Party chapter.
Recommended reading and viewing
“Burn Mother Fucker Burn”
The SF Bay View
California Prison Focus
POOR News Network