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Ann Harkness

 

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A BFA graduate of North Texas State University Ann is a photographer, artist, activist and former photo-stylist in advertising.

She uses her imaginative eye and compassionate view
documenting political events and people. Her work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle, Gambit Weekly, Southwest Cycling Magazine, and Robert King’s book From the Bottom of the Heap. She regularly contributes photographic work to many organizations including ACLU, BikeTexas, Austin Cycling Assoc., Angola 3, and Austin Bike Zoo.

Ann spent many rowdy days disrupting corporate business through the Anarchist Sewing Club, and UPROAR (United People Resisting Oppression and Racism) in Dallas. Since moving to Austin she co-founded Treasure City Thrift, and the Deloney St. Community Garden. She is a longtime organizer with the Angola 3 Committee. In addition to co-producing the documentary Angola 3: Black Panthers and the L.S.P. she often helps Robert King behind the scenes with his Freelines candy business

For fun she is currently engaged in local farming practices that include gardens, goats, chickens, and compost on a small plot in the inner city with her longtime partner scott crow.

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angola3cover

The Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation
Produced by scott crow and Ann Harkness
Narrated by Mumia Abu-Jamal
Released September 2008
ISBN:  978-1-60486-020-7
UPC: 022891476399
Format: DVD (NTSC)
Language: English
Aspect Ratio:  4:3
Length: 109 Minutes
Subject: Documentary, Prison Abolition

$19.95

 

The Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation tells the gripping story of Robert King, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, men who have endured solitary confinement longer than any known living prisoner in the United States. Politicized through contact with the Black Panther Party while inside Louisiana’s prisons, they formed one of the only prison Panther chapters in history and worked to organize other prisoners into a movement for the right to live like human beings. This feature length movie explores their extraordinary struggle for justice while incarcerated in Angola, a former slave plantation where institutionalized rape and murder made it known as one of the most brutal and racist prisons in the United States. The analysis of the Angola 3’s political work, and the criminal cases used to isolate and silence them, occurs within the context of the widespread COINTELPRO being carried out in the 1960’s and 70’s by the FBI and state law enforcement against militant voices for change.

In a partial victory, the courts exonerated Robert King of the original charges and released him in 2001; he continues the fight for the freedom of his two brothers. The ongoing campaign, which includes a civil case soon to come before the Supreme Court, is supported by people and organizations such as Amnesty International, the A.C.L.U., Harry Belafonte, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream, Ramsey Clark, Sen. John Conyers, Sister Helen Prejean, (the late) Anita Roddick, Bishop Desmond Tutu and the ANC. Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox have now endured as political prisoners in solitary confinement for over thirty-five years.

Narrated by Mumia Abu-Jamal, The Angola 3 features interviews with former Panthers, political prisoners and revolutionaries, including the Angola 3 themselves, and Bo Brown, Geronimo (ji Jaga) Pratt, Malik Rahim, Yuri Kochiyama, David Hilliard, Rod Coronado, Noelle Hanrahan, Kiilu Nyasha, Marion Brown, Luis Talamantez, Gail Shaw and many others. Portions of the proceeds go to support the Angola 3. Features the music of Truth Universal written by Tajiri Kamau.

Extras include: "Angola 3" music video for a song written and produced by Dave Stewart (of the Eurythmics) in support of the A3 featuring Saul Williams, Nadirah X, Asdru Sierra, Dana Glover, Tina Schlieske and Derrick Ashong. Directed by Robin Davey. Plus a trailer for the film which features outtakes not in the feature.

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The Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation
By William T. Armaline (Ph.D.) and Damian Bramlett
Political Media Review

It is no secret that the United States does not hesitate to incarcerate. While the US only represents 5% of the global population, it cages nearly 25% of the world’s prisoners-approximately 2.3 million people. Of these 2.3 million people, approximately half are African American (13% of US population). Of course, the vastly disproportionate caging and state coercion of African Americans in the US has a long and brutal history. This bloody legacy is made manifest in prisons like Angola, named for the country from which many southern plantation slaves were abducted. The Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation details the history of not only Angola prison, but the broader struggle between the US police state and organizations like the Black Panthers over the rights and quality of life of African Americans in the US...

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DVD Review: The Angola 3
Abort Magazine

Narrated by Mumia Abu-Jamal, this is the story of Robert King Wilkerson, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox - men who have endured solitary confinement longer than any known prisoner in the US, and who formed one of the only prison chapters of the Black Panthers.  Inside the notorious Angola prison - a former slave plantation where the only change since slavery is it’s classification, prisoners work under much the same conditions as the 1800’s, watched by mounted overseers with shotguns.

It is these images of a modern day plantation that hit the hardest, combined with first hand accounts of institutionalized rape and murder that keep the population in physical and psychological chains.  The Angola 3’s victory is that in this environment of total oppression,  they organized fellow prisoners into a movement for the right to live as human beings.  Within the context of the COINTELPRO operations being carried out by the FBI in the 60’s and 70’s to silence radical voices, this achievement is nothing short of a miracle.

Through interviews with the 3, as well as original Black Panthers Geronimo Pratt, David Hilliard and others,  the nature and scale of this struggle is revealed, and the down to earth humanity of all the members of the movement shines through.  Although occasionally very dry in presentation - many of the interviews are on scratchy, penitentiary intercoms with only a photograph to accompany them - patience is rewarded with gems of wisdom and the indomitable spirit of true freedom fighters.

For those that don’t know, this film is an excellent introduction to one of the greatest social movements of the 20th century - The Black Panther party, an organization that had the American power structure shaking in it’s goose-stepping boots for over a decade until it was mercilessly crushed and nearly destoyed, it’s leaders assasinated and imprisoned, its true political aims obscured.  Time to watch Huey P’s speeches on YouTube again kids.

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