THE GILLESPIE-SENTER MEMORIAL COMMUNITY BREAKFAST
October 2019 Keynote Presentation:
Ending Solitary Confinement
Robert Hillary King
Member of the Angola Three
SATURDAY OCTOBER 12, 2019
11:00am to 12:00pm
First Unitarian Universalist Church
5212 South Claiborne Av., New Orleans
(Enter via the Soniat Street entrance; inside large classroom)
Coffee will be served beginning at 10:30am
Attender brief introductions: 10:50am to 10:58am
Keynote Presentation and Discussion: 11:00am to 12:00pm
Progressive Social Justice Community announcements follow
Robert King will be bringing copies of his book and his “freelines”– special pralines that he makes himself– for folks to purchase.
A member of the Angola Three, Robert King will discuss his 29 years in solitary confinement and his work since being released in 2001 to end human rights abuses in American prison and to reform the U.S. justice system. Findings of two new reports on solitary confinement in Louisiana prisons, where incarcerated people are held in solitary at FOUR times the national rate, and how to plug into the Louisiana Stop Solitary Coalition will also be discussed.
Robert King lived in solitary confinement in Angola State Prison for 29 years. He was among the co-founders of the Angola chapter of the Black Panther Party. With Albert Woodfox and the late Herman Wallace, also Black Panthers, he is known as one of the Angola 3, men who were held for decades in solitary confinement at Angola.
Since his release, Robert King has worked as a speaker on prison reform and the justice system. He has been featured in numerous print, media and film articles and interviews worldwide including: CNN, National Public Radio, NBC, BBC and ITN. He appeared in two documentaries about him and his fellow prisoners in long-term solitary– Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation, and Land of the Free (2010). He also provided continuing support to Wallace and Woodfox in prison.
His autobiography, From the Bottom of the Heap: The Autobiography of a Black Panther (2008), was released by PM Press. He won a PASS Award for his book in 2009 from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency.
Following the destruction throughout the poorest areas of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, King pitched in with local activists to organize communities and provide aid. Local activist Malik Rahim, and Scott Crow and Brandon Darby, both from Texas, co-founded the Common Ground Collective to provide assistance and medical care to local residents left destitute after the storm. King has spoken internationally against the use of solitary confinement and on behalf of Wallace and Woodfox while they were still imprisoned.
He has spoken at college campuses and community centers across the US, and before the Parliaments in the Netherlands, South Africa and Portugal. In December 2010, King was invited as the inaugural speaker at TEDx Alcatraz in San Francisco, delivering a talk entitled “Alone”.
Exciting news…. looks like Albert Woodfox, the other surviving member of the Angola Three, may be able to join Mr. King! Albert Woodfox just learned on Wednesday that his book, Solitary: My Story of Transformation and Hope, has just been chosen as a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award!
Robert Hillary King (born May 30, 1942), also known as Robert King Wilkerson, is an American known as one of the Angola Three, former prisoners who were held at Louisiana State Penitentiary in solitary confinement for decades after being convicted in 1973 of prison murders.Robert Hillary King
Initially held at Angola after being convicted of armed robbery, King served a total of 32 years there, 29 of them in solitary. His conviction was overturned on appeal in 2001, and a new trial was ordered. The state indicted him again and he accepted a plea deal for lower charges, in exchange for time served, rather than go through another trial. He was released in 2001.
King has consistently maintained his innocence in the prison murder. He was among the co-founders of the Angola chapter of the Black Panther Party. With Albert Woodfox and the late Herman Wallace, also former Black Panthers, he is known as one of the Angola 3, men who were held for decades in solitary confinement at Angola
Source: The Gillespie Memorial Community Breakfast affords roundtable discussion, event coordination and educational programmingIt is held on the second Saturday of each month at the First Unitarian Universalist Church, and is hosted by the Church’s Social Justice Committee. Visit their Facebook page.