Monday, June 27, 2016

Just Stand: A Video Interview With Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3

(PHOTO: Albert enjoys a canoe ride in Austin, TX.)

Since Albert’s release on his birthday, February 19th, a few short months ago, he’s been really busy…  After nearly a month of visiting with family and friends in New Orleans sharing more birthday cake than he’s been able to consume in over forty years, Albert has been catching up with his dreams. This trio of video-interviews with Albert recorded recently, during a visit to Sacramento, will give you a glimpse of just how well Albert is doing.

This first release, entitled "Just Stand" is in three parts:  (1) A Message to Supporters, (2) Visiting Yosemite National Park and (3) Spending Quality Time With Family.

(PHOTO: Albert Woodfox stands strong during a recent visit to Sacramento, California)

A MESSAGE TO SUPPORTERS -  After thanking the many supporters around the world that never gave up in fighting for his release, Albert sent them this message: "What they should take from my freedom is that you stand. You don't back away. You don't make unnecessary compromises. You stand, and no matter how painful, you stand." Watch the full interview here.

VISITING YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK -  Just a few days before this interview was conducted, Albert visited Yosemite National Park, where he endured a challenging uphill climb. Albert reflects: "As you get older, you always wonder what you lose, and I think it felt very, very great to know that my will and determination have not changed, even though I've grown older. I know I have changed somewhat physically, [but] mentally, emotionally, and spiritually I'm as strong as I ever was." Watch the full interview here.

SPENDING QUALITY TIME WITH FAMILY -  In this segment, Albert discusses his relationship with his family, with whom he tries to spend as much time as he can: "I'm a Dad, a Grandpa, and a Great Grandpa. I'm so grateful that my family accepted me back." Watch the full interview here.

Albert has been spending time in Houston with his brother Michael and his family as well as time in New Orleans with his daughter, grandson and grandchildren. His first speaking engagement was a trip to Pittsburgh for the International Conference on Solitary Confinement at University of Pittsburgh with King. When that was over, he spent a week in Austin with King and Austin supporters before heading off to California to fulfill one of his long held dreams, a trip to Yosemite. On the way he stopped in Los Angeles to attend the Death Penalty Focus Gala, where he was joined by an old friend from Angola, recently released Gary Tyler and about twenty exonerees attending on behalf of the Innocence Project. He also had a chance to drop in on long-time supporter and artist, Rigo 23 and family before heading north. After Yosemite, Albert attended the Malcolm X Festival in Oakland. On his return to New Orleans, Albert and King’s cousin, Noonie, cooked up a “surprise” birthday party for King and celebrated with many local supporters.

The next few months are equally as busy. In August King and Albert will be in New York at the National Lawyers Guild Convention where Albert will accept the Arthur Kinoy award. After the NLG conference, Albert and King will spend time with BPP comrades in New York. In September they will be in Oakland for the Political Prisoner’s Conference and later in the month they will be speaking at a number of venues in Chicago. They’ll return to Oakland in October for the 50th Anniversary gathering of the Black Panther Party. Then in late October, they visit the UK and France to meet with Amnesty supporters, along with special events in the UK including London, Liverpool and Cambridge  As you’ll be able to see from the short interviews and attached photos, Albert deals with all the activity like a champ – it’s hard to believe that he’s spent four decades in a box, as he handles himself with grace and humor regardless of the situation presented.

Freedom for our comrade, elder, and political prisoner Leonard Peltier is long overdue. Please sign Amnesty International USA's new online petition calling on President Obama to release him. Please also consider supporting the Leonard Peltier Statue Project. Free all political prisoners!

(Albert and Rigo 23, with the latest artwork from Rigo 23 illustrating that all of the Angola 3 are Free.)

(King and Albert in Austin- reunited in freedom!)

(Comrades from Houston and Austin join King and Albert for a welcome home party for Albert.)

(Albert with Louisiana exonerees John Thompson and Gary Tyler at Death Penalty Focus event.)

(Albert and King’s cousin, Elnora put together a sizzling surprise birthday party for King at the Craig Center in Algiers on June 11th.  The theme was “white linen.” This photo of Albert dancing with longtime supporter Shana Griffin, was taken by the esteemed Ted Quant to memorialize the evening. View more photos from the party here.)


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