Angola Three members to speak in Cambridge

Published: 26 October 2016 at 16:22

Robert King (photo: Ann Harkness)

Robert King and Albert Woodfox will be ‘in conversation’ with Samantha Roddick

On US Election Day [8 November], the two surviving members of the Angola Three will travel to Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge to discuss ‘Black Panthers to Obama’s America’, in conversation with Samantha Roddick.

Albert Woodfox was finally released from wrongful imprisonment in February 2016, after 43 years in solitary confinement in a Louisiana prison.  He will be joined by Robert King, a fellow member of the Angola Three, who was held in solitary for 29 years.  Robert has been campaigning for Albert’s release since 2001.

During their prison terms, Albert, Robert and the late Herman Wallace, the third member of the Angola Three, were silenced for trying to expose continued segregation, systematic corruption and abuse in Angola prison, which was a former slave plantation.  

In the 1970s, their peaceful, non-violent protests in the form of hunger strikes and work strikes caught the attention of Louisiana’s elected leaders.  The outside scrutiny led to prison officials punishing those they saw as troublemakers.  Consequently, the three men were charged with murders they did not commit and placed into 6 x 9 foot solitary confinement cells where they remained for decades.

On Tuesday, 8 November (6pm) at Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge, Albert and Robert will share their prison experiences with Samantha Roddick, daughter of Bodyshop founders Anita and Gordon Roddick who campaigned tirelessly for their release.

They will discuss how their political convictions as members of the Black Panther Party enabled them to survive, their lifelong campaign to free fellow political prisoners and their battle to end the use of long-term solitary confinement in the US. 

Colleen Moore, Principal Lecturer in Criminology at Anglia Ruskin, said: 


“Robert was released in 2001 and has spent the last 15 years working to promote the release of Herman and Albert.  Herman was released in 2013 but died days later and Albert was released in February this year, making him the longest ever solitary confinement prisoner.

“Staff and students at Anglia Ruskin have been contributing to the campaign since Robert came to speak here in 2010.  Robert has since returned several times, and was awarded an Anglia Ruskin honorary doctorate in 2012.  Now Albert is free, the pair are building their campaign to highlight and expose the continued abuses of incarceration in the USA.”

The talk, which will be followed by a Q&A and a book signing, is open to the public and is free to attend.  However, as demand is expected to be high, booking is recommended. To book a place, please visit our event page.


Photo of Robert King by Ann Harkness