(PHOTOS: Albert's 71st Birthday party held this weekend
at his home in New Orleans. Happy Birthday, Albert!)
Albert Woodfox’s Release: Celebrating and Reflecting Upon the Two-Year Anniversary
--An Interview With Law Professor Angela A. Allen-Bell
By Angola 3 News
On February 19, 2016, following 43 years in solitary confinement, Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3 was released from prison on his 69th birthday. Now two years later, as we celebrate Albert’s 71st birthday, it is still difficult to properly articulate our profound joy that after decades of hard work and perseverance, Albert is now living life on his own terms. We would once again like to express our sincere gratitude to Albert’s legal team and to the many supporters from around the world who came together to make this happen.
Since his release, Albert has been to Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Belgium, the UK, Canada and multiple campuses including Harvard and Yale. He’s now busy writing his autobiography and both he and fellow Angola 3 member, Robert King, continue to do their best to keep the conversation about solitary confinement and political prisoners in the public spotlight.
Albert and Robert will be speaking in Los Angeles, California on April 7 at The Main and on April 9 at the Mark Taper Auditorium – Central Library. The April 7 event, moderated by artist and longtime A3 supporter Rigo 23, will occur inside the exhibition ‘Rigo 23: Ripples Become Waves,’ which takes its title from a quote by Robert King: “You throw pebbles into a pond, you get ripples; ripples become waves; the waves can become a tsunami.” A fitting metaphor for the decades-long A3 struggle.
If you have not yet seen it, ‘Cruel and Unusual,’ the UK film about the Angola 3, is now available both as a DVD and a in downloadable format through the film’s website.
Over the past six years, we have conducted a series of interviews with Southern University Law Professor Angela A. Allen-Bell. Our first interview with Prof. Bell, entitled Prolonged Solitary Confinement on Trial, followed the release of her 2012 article written for the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, entitled "Perception Profiling & Prolonged Solitary Confinement Viewed Through the Lens of the Angola 3 Case: When Prison Officials Become Judges, Judges Become Visually Challenged and Justice Becomes Legally Blind.”
Our second interview, entitled Terrorism, COINTELPRO, and the Black Panther Party, examined her 2014 article, published by the Journal of Law and Social Deviance, entitled “Activism Unshackled & Justice Unchained: A Call to Make a Human Right Out of One of the Most Calamitous Human Wrongs to Have Taken Place on American Soil."
Our third interview, entitled Healing Our Wounds, focused on her 2015 article, published by the University of Miami Race & Social Justice Law Review, entitled "A Prescription for Healing a National Wound: Two Doses of Executive Direct Action Equals a Portion of Justice and a Serving of Redress for America & the Black Panther Party."
This new interview reflecting upon the two-year anniversary of Albert Woodfox’s release is the third part of our most recent set of interviews with Professor Bell. Part one, entitled Plantations Were Prisons, was published during the lead up to the August 19, 2017 Prisoners Human Rights March in Washington DC, with the interview providing an in-depth discussion of the issues central to the March. Part two was published last month, following the recent decision by the California Board of Parole Hearings that granted parole to ‘Soledad Brother’ John Clutchette, where Professor Bell issued a call for readers to contact California Governor Jerry Brown, urging him to affirm the decision. Gov. Brown has yet to issue a decision, so if you have not yet contacted him in support of Clutchette’s parole, please do so today.
Angola 3 News: As we human rights activists move forward and continue fighting against the myriad of injustices related to the US prison system, it is important that we be optimistic and remain hopeful that change is possible.
You have been visiting Albert at his home in New Orleans. Can you tell us about your visits with him? Given that you visited him while he was still imprisoned, how did you feel when he was released? What’s it like now to be spending time with him outside of the prison walls?