Ever heard of the Angola Three? Well, unfortunately, now there are only two. After 41 years in solitary confinement for a murder that he professed his innocence for on numerous occasions, last week (September 27, 2013) Herman Wallace passed away from a gruesome case of liver cancer.
The Angola Three are a group of three men – Robert King, Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace – who were all sentenced to solitary confinement in Louisiana State prison for the 1972 killing of prison guard Brent Miller in Angola jail. Although there was never any concrete evidence of this murder taking place, the men suffered the consequences of southern injustice. Several documentaries, books and other independent films have been done on this remarkably unfortunate situation in order to shed light on these men’s lives.
Despite Louisiana’s unjust attempt to paint these men as criminals, they existed as much more than that. Prior to being sentenced to solitary confinement, Wallace, Woodfox and King were a part of the Black Panther Party in Angola jail. They worked to petition for better conditions in the jail, to end systematic rape, and helped organize hunger strikes. These men did their best to be activists regardless of their unfortunate predicament.
If interested, you can view the Angola 3 Case Brief here for more information (http://www.angola3.org/Uploads/A3_Final_Summary_MASTER_2013.pdf)
I think that after being sentenced to a cell for 40+ years with no outside contact for a crime that there is no evidence to support, the least we can do is acknowledge his existence in a higher form than this country ever has.
In the words of Robert King, Wallace’s friend and partner in activism, “Everything legal is not moral. Legality and morality are not friends.”
RIP Herman Wallace. May truth prevail.