Albert Woodfox was held in solitary confinement for nearly 45 years in a cell as large as the bathroom, as he insisted that he did not commit a crime, although his conviction was overturned four times.
When Woodfox was accused of stabbing a prison to watch punctuality, he was already in prison and was found guilty despite a lot of evidence that he was innocent.
Former members of the Panthers believe that his political activities in prison determine his fate, leading him to spend most of his life alone.
He only has two phones. 7 metres by 1. 8m. "[It had]
"The two metal bunks attached to the wall, the metal sink/toilet bowl combination attached to the wall, and the metal tables and benches attached to the wall opposite the berth," Woodfox said now 72.
"But the space is smaller because you only have narrow paths from the back wall to the bar you can walk.
Woodfox spent 44 years and 10 months alone.
Longer than any prisoner in American history.
The regular rhythm is so good-
The shabby path is only allowed to go out for an hour every day.
You can't help getting angry when people take half of your life, "he said.
"You can't suffer when you make so many mistakes, so many physical mistakes. "[But]
Despite doing everything to destroy me, I became stronger.
I used my cell.
This is a death room. as a school.
Woodfox detailed his experience in a new book Lonely, who grew up in a poor community in New Orleans and was oppressed by the government's "racist policy.
His illiterate mother went out of her way to support her family.
But Woodfox says being a small criminal is considered a prestigious position with few prospects and no positive image to look forward.
"When I came up, my mom fought bravely to protect me from a criminal life," he said . ".
"But the street is louder than my mother.
"On 1971, Woodfox, 22, was involved in armed robbery while on parole.
He was found guilty and sentenced to 50 years in New Orleans's Louis Anna state prison.
The bloodiest prison in North America.
It was built on a former plantation called "Angola "--
Mention many African homes brought to the slaves of the state of Luis Anna.
Before Woodfox was transferred there, he fled to Harlem, New York City.
Although he was recaptured shortly afterwards, his first contact with members of the Panthers party was in Harlem.
He says the community work that these people are working on
Including teaching prisoners to read and discuss politics
It was a revelation to him and he decided to join.
"The voice on the street is bigger than my mother . . . . . . [but]
"The Voice of the Panthers is louder than on the street," said Woodfox.
"The Panther is talking about things that I feel subconsciously, and they speak in a voice that I have never heard of before.
Woodfox was sent back to Angola
It was isolated.
There he suffered terrible atrocities and sexual violence.
Woodfox knows what has to be done and someone needs to come forward.
He and other prisoners Herman Wallace helped set up the Panthers Party chapter in prison and began to organize education for other prisoners in protest against apartheid, corruption, institutional racism, atrocities and murder
"As a panther, I feel it is a responsibility and an obligation to organize and end all of this," Woodfox said . ".
"I feel that if the prisoner comes together and no longer sees the color and starts to see the human nature, we can take back some kind of control, some kind of self-awareness
It is worth it and does not allow us to be exploited and treated like prisoners at the time --and still are.
Their activism is not popular.
Among the guards and prisoners.
Woodfox believes this has changed his life in the end.
On April 17, 1972, Brent Miller, a prison guard, was murdered.
His body was found to have 32 knife wounds.
Woodfox said it was soon clear that the prison authorities wanted to blame the murder on people they thought were "militants" troublemakers --
A member of the Panther.
"They are determined to let us pay the price and serve as an example against other prisoners," he said . ".
Woodfox said there was "overwhelming evidence" that he was innocent.
The witness placed him in a completely different place in the prison, and the physical evidence "indicated that it was done by others ". "[But]
"Prison officials have decided that I have committed this crime with Herman Wallace and some others," he said . ".
Woodfox and Wallace were convicted of Miller's murder and held in solitary confinement, where they will spend the next 40 years.
"I changed from a political victim to a political prisoner," Woodfox said . ".
One of the notorious guards. . .
To the press [in 2008]
Even if Herman and I were innocent, he would not release us from loneliness because he did not want us to walk around as prisoners and preach Black Pantherism.
Woodfox said his involvement in the Panthers movement changed him and he decided not to commit any more crimes.
He used his time alone to receive education and study Civil law and criminal law.
However, being limited to 23 hours a day in such a small space can also have a terrible impact on the human brain.
Woodfox, who suffers from claustrophobia, keeps pace and often leaves sweat puddles as he walks along the path in his cell.
He said he knew there were prisoners who cut their fingers in order to get rid of loneliness.
Others committed suicide, he said.
Over the years, more evidence has been disclosed in the Miller case, including the confession of another man, who placed Woodfox.
Miller's widow also thinks it's impossible for Woodfox to murder her husband.
Woodfox has repeatedly opposed his conviction and, despite the fact that the conviction was overturned several times, he is still in solitary confinement.
On 2015, Louis Anna announced that he would try Woodfox for the third time on murder charges, but after months of negotiations with his lawyer, he proposed a plea agreement, this proposal contributed to one of the "toughest decisions" of Woodfox's life;
He still regrets "in many ways.
"I have taught people all my life to stand up and fight [for]
What do you believe.
So it's very difficult, "he said.
"But I 've been locked up for 44 years and 10 months, and my daughter has changed from a child to an adult.
I have three grandchildren that I have never held before, and four great ones --
Grandchildren I never held.
"He said he made up his mind after his brother conveyed his conversation with Woodfox's daughter.
He said, "one day, when he spoke to my daughter, she cried and said, 'I don't have a father. '.
"He said, 'You have a dad, and I think you will be proud of what he has become and what he has achieved, even in prison '.
She said: "What will it feel like to hug him?
Say Dad, what would it feel to hear his voice respond?
What will it feel like doing things with him? '.
Woodfox therefore raised "no doubt" about the lesser charges of manslaughter and serious burglary ".
He was released on February 19, 2016
His 69 th birthday
A person diagnosed with advanced liver cancer.
His conviction was overturned and he was released.
The state announced its intention to retaliate against him, but he died only three days after winning his freedom.
Woodfox, who has been released for three years, said he was happy to be with his family and knew they were just "a phone call ".
But he said he was sad and frustrated that black American men and women didn't seem to change much.
"We still have economic, political and social policies that affect Africa --
"In this country, Americans, other minorities and the poor," he said . ".
"I have been away for nearly 50 years . . . . . . On the surface, there is a change in the look of the United States, but behind this, all the things that I know and grow --
I'm still there.
"It took Woodfox nearly 45 years to win his physical freedom, but in his own way, when he was imprisoned alone, he became a free man.
"In my life, there was a time when I decided to be the person I wanted to be and I was going to control my life and I was going to decide who I was, don't let the policy of this country and prison shape me . . . . . . My values, my code of conduct, "he said.
"This is very helpful to me. "Topics:law-crime-and-Justice, prisonand-Punishment of race
Society, people, peopleUnited's interest