your writer finished reading the chilling, fascinating, and powerfully
informative (recently released) book by Robert Hillary King (aka
Robert King Wilkerson) titled, From
The Bottom Of The Heap: The Autobiography Of Black Panther Robert
Hillary King (PM Press),
I found myself incensed yet again at the U.S. judicial and prison
systems responsible for framing, sentencing, and imprisoning a man
for over three decades in prison for a crime that he did not commit.
Robert King Wilkerson’s story touches the core of, and goes beyond,
that of having been a prisoner and fellow Black Panther Party member.
It is the story of government and judicial abuse. It is also the
story of human dignity and resilience, of determination, and ultimately
of the highest form of love for humanity.
King Wilkerson, though finally set “free” from the infamous Angola
prison in Louisiana, after thirty one years of wrongful imprisonment
(twenty nine of which were consecutively in solitary confinement),
remains today steadfast as a part of the group of three U.S.
political prisoners known collectively as the ‘Angola 3.’
He continues to unrelentingly strive for the rights of the other
two still-imprisoned members of the Angola 3, and on behalf of the
many other political prisoners inside the United States,
and around the world.
book however, is so much more than merely an important indictment
of the U.S. system of injustice. It is an informative saga
of struggle written with a straight forward, beautiful rawness and
honesty that beckons and gently wraps itself around the reader.
The brutal and unspeakable horrors and injustices of the U.S. judicial
and prison systems are pitted against one man’s humanity---and this
man’s humanity triumphs. His human triumph translates into
book should be read and reread. It is a book that we ourselves
should turn to repeatedly for encouragement, and it should be put
forth as an example to our youth be they Black, Brown, White, Red,
Marion Brown former member of the Black Panther Party and Co-Founder
of the A3 (Angola 3) Support Committee aptly wrote concerning the
resilience of Robert King Wilkerson: “From the moment of his release,
he has worked tirelessly to spread the word about the innocence
and the continued plight of his two remaining comrades, both held
in solitary confinement for thirty-six years. Upon his release King
was quoted as saying, ‘I may be free from Angola, but Angola will
never be free of me!’”
this book, read it, and carry on in the struggle!
these times when the black emperor of the U.S. Empire muses about
and proposes instituting “preventive detention” of people in this
nation against whom there is insufficient evidence to charge and/or
detain (reference article titled, Facts
and Myths About Obama’s Preventive Detention Proposal by
Glenn Greenwald, dated May 22, 2009 at “Salon.com;” and an article
Is Said To Consider Preventive Detention Plan by Sheryl
Gay Stolberg, May 20, 2009, The New York Times), it is critical
to understand what imprisonment really means. Will we now
allow the empire to blatantly imprison the innocent?! Think
about it. Think about the opportunity for legalized and massive
government and judicial abuse that this Obama proposal is really
for systemic change.
then my sisters and brothers!!! Onward…..
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board Member, Larry Pinkney, is a veteran
of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the
Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only
American to have successfully self-authored his civil/political
rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights. In connection
with his political organizing activities in opposition to voter
suppression, etc., Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally
televised PBS NewsHour, formerly known as The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.
For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and
Thinker, by William Mandel
[Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here
to read excerpts from the book). Click here
to contact Mr. Pinkney.