Heroes: A Conversation with Albert Woodfox and Robert King is a short video being released at this time to highlight another dimension of the protests taking place around the world supporting Black Lives Matter and to draw attention to racism in criminal justice systems around the world. In March, 2017, Kelly Saxberg and Ron Harpelle recorded a conversation with Albert Woodfox and Robert King during their visit to Thunder Bay, Ontario. Kelly Saxberg and Ron Harpelle are independent filmmakers who produced “Hard Time,” a documentary film about Robert King.
Albert Woodfox and Robert King are the surviving members of the Angola 3 and, along with Herman Wallace, they spent a combined total of 114 years in solitary confinement for crimes they did not commit. Their real “crime” was being black in the U.S. and organizing the only prison chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. Most of their time was spent in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, which is located on a former slave plantation known as Angola. Robert King was released in 2001 after 29 years in solitary, Herman Wallace was released after 42 years on October 1, 2013 and he died of cancer three days later, and Albert Woodfox saw freedom on his birthday in February 2016 after almost 44 years in a six-by-nine cell for 23 hours a day.
Since their release, both Albert Woodfox and Robert King have authored critically acclaimed autobiographies and they continue to fight for reforms in the criminal justice system. In March 2017 they were invited by researchers at Lakehead University to participate in a panel discussion on solitary confinement in Canada. The introduction is a re-edited section of “Hard Time,” a documentary about Robert King by Ron Harpelle and Kelly Saxberg.
Kelly Saxberg – camera and editing
Adrien Harpelle – additional editing and sound mix
Ron Harpelle – sound recordist and interviewer
Alyssa Kusik – colour editing
Resources, Economy and Society Research Group
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Music recorded by Dr. Harry Oster
Angola Prisoners’ Blues
“Some Got Six Months”
Robert Pete Williams
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