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In a special Los Angeles visit, human rights activists Robert King and Albert Woodfox, the two surviving members of the Angola 3, known for having served the longest solitary confinement sentences in U.S. history, share their remarkable story of survival and advocacy.  As comrades inside Louisiana State Penitentiary—the largest prison in the U.S. and former slave plantation known as “Angola”- they jointly established a chapter of the Black Panther Party within the prison and led peaceful non-violent protest against the racist and cruel conditions inflicted upon prisoners. Together with Herman Wallace (released 2013, deceased 2013) they collectively spent 114 years in solitary confinement. Since being released, King (released 2001) and Woodfox (released 2016) travel the globe campaigning for limits to solitary confinement and an end to the 13th amendment allowance for the enslavement of prisoners.  These two unbreakable spirits shed light on the reality of the American criminal justice system and represent the struggle of everyone unjustly incarcerated.

Thank you to our partner, UCLA Prison Education Program.

Robert King

Dr. Robert King is a prison reform activist and the first of the Angola 3 to win his freedom after serving twenty-nine years in solitary confinement of a 31-year sentence. He was a member of the Black Panther Party in Angola, Louisiana, the only official chapter of the BPP in the country. In the seventeen years since his release in 2001, King’s life’s focus has been to campaign against abuses in the US criminal justice system, the cruel and unusual use of solitary confinement and for the freedom of the then remaining imprisoned, Angola 2, who are now all free. In 2012, King received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK for his achievements as a civil rights campaigner and has traveled the world sharing his testimony with parliaments in Europe, Africa, and South America.  He is the author of his autobiography, From the Bottom of the Heap.

Albert Woodfox

Albert Woodfox is the last of the Angola 3 to be released.  He was released on his birthday, February 19th, 2016 after his conviction had been overturned a total of three times, spanning the years between 1992-2015.  Motivated by the many years it took to be heard, Albert has made a life-long commitment to continuing his activism and advocacy on behalf of all those wrongfully imprisoned due to the multiple abuses of the criminal justice system, prosecutorial misconduct, missing or false evidence, bad science, and racism. As a former member of the Black Panther Party he hopes to be a voice for the voiceless who suffer under brutal prison conditions.  He is currently writing a book slated to publish late 2018.

Bryonn Bain

Bryonn Bain is a hip hop theater innovator, spoken word poetry champion, prison activist, actor and educator who currently serves as Director of the UCLA Prison Education Program.  Bain was wrongfully imprisoned while studying at Harvard Law, sued the NYPD, and wrote about his experiences in his book The Ugly Side of Beautiful: Rethinking Race and Prison in America.  Bain has organized prison workshops in 25 states and has toured nationally and internationally with his one-man multimedia production, Lyrics From Lockdown, executive produced by Harry Belafonte.  Bain’s latest Emmy-nominated film, BaaaddD Sonia, traces the life and work of Black Studies pioneer and poet Sonia Sanchez.  Bain founded the prison education program offering college degrees from NYU to men incarcerated in New York.  In 2016, Bain began co-supervising UCLA’s International Human Rights Law Clinic and facilitated an initiative with incarcerated women to develop a 92-page needs/resources assessment for the LA Mayor’s Office of Re-Entry.  Bryonn serves proudly as a faculty advisor for Underground Scholars and the Justice Work Group at UCLA.

Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at approximately 7 PM.

Standby Policy:
Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served, basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted subject to availability. Most programs will be available via podcast.

Book Signing Policy:
ALOUD is one of many free programs at the Los Angeles Public Library made possible by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most ALOUD author programs are followed by book signings. At least one copy of the author’s book must be purchased from The Library Store in order to participate in any post-program book signing, and you will be asked to show proof of purchase. Please be prepared to show your proof of purchase when you enter the book signing line. Proceeds support the Los Angeles Public Library.

Main Image: For Albert Woodfox, May 13th, 2017 by Rigo 23

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.

  • Where can I find podcasts and videos of ALOUD programs?

    Podcasts and videos from our programs are available free online at our growing Media Archive. Visit the archive at lfla.org/media-archive to explore hundreds of podcasts and videos spanning 20+ years of ALOUD’s history bringing authors, artists, and t thinkers to the Los Angeles Public Library.