LAW WEEK AND THE ANGOLA 3
The Southern Univer- sity Law School hosted Law Week March 17 -March 21, including solitary confinement exhibition dis-play. The celebration included a memorial program for Herman Wallace, a true vision- ary and member of the Angola 3. The keynote speaker was Robert King. As a member of the Black Panther Party while in prison, the system silenced is- sues and concerns and forced many prisoners into solitary confinement so problems that occurred did not seep out of the prison walls. King spent 29 years in solitary confinement, living in a 6’ x 9’ cell with very little or no contact with the prison general population and special privileges are very limited. “Solitary confinement is slavery,” said King. He was released from Angola Prison in 2001. Many plays, books and studies have been written, making the Angola 3 story known all over the world. King said, “Herman Wallace would be delighted by the support”.
Malik Rahim was the special guest speaker and also was a member of the Black Panther Party. He shared many encounters with law enforcement and the penal institutions and urged the law students in attendance at this special program. “You can make a difference to change the justice system”.
Rahim said 2 million individuals are on parole/ probation and omore than a million Black males are in prison.
King and Rahim made it clear in their presenta- tions that many prisoners have been framed due to their political beliefs.
In memory of Herman Wallace, who spent more than 30 years in solitary confinement was finally re- leased from prison in Octo- ber 2013. Herman died two days later after battling and suffering with a terminal illness. He never received the proper medical care while incarcerated.He died before justice was able to prevail on his behalf. Wal- lace is loved by many family members, friends and will be greatly missed.
The other Angola 3 inmate is Albert Woodfox, remains in solitary confine- ment after more than 30 years.
The Angola 3 Coalition and Amnesty International strongly continue to fight and are vocal and visible. The Angola 3 story is known locally, statewide, nationally and internationally. It has been a catalyst for discussions on the treatment prisoners in solitary confinement receives in the legislature and other judicial processes.
King and Rahim gave soul-stirring messages and captivated the audience discussing the challenges they encountered while be- ing in prison.
There is a bill in the Louisiana Legislature HR- 1, addressing solitary confinement restrictions and how long a prisoner should remain in solitary confine- ment.
Proclamations have been declared regarding the Angola 3, stating that these three individuals are not guilty for crime that they served time in such deplor- able conditions. The fight is moving strong to free and release Woodfox.
He is older, has health concerns, and needs to walk as a free man as soon as possible.
This month’s program at Southern was very inspirational.Hats off to Professor Angela Bell, all of the Pre enters and the Students of the Southern University Law Center.
This new column shares community events and activities compiled by Mada McDonald, a public relations professional and community activist