Robert King's Northeast Speaking Tour
FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE HEAP
A Talk by Robert Hillary King, the Only Freed Member of the Angola 3
You will see new events confirmed as of April 14th in red...
U.S. NORTHEAST SPEAKING TOUR: APRIL 4-22, 2009 -- WITH STOPS IN:
MA: Roxbury, Boston, Springfield, Northampton, Amherst
CT: Hartford, Middletown
NY: Troy-Albany, Rochester, New York
& more TBA
NEW YORK, NY- Tuesday, April 14, 6:00 p.m. – Fordham University - Midtown Campus (Lincoln Center, Room 109, 155 W. 60th St. entrance). Free and open to the public.
NEW YORK, NY- Friday, April 17, 7:00 p.m.- Booksigning, Film & Conversation – The Harlem Campus of the City College of New York, Lecture Hall 0-201 in The North Academic Center (NAC Building), W. 137th Street between Amsterdam & Convent Avenues. Presented by the City College Black Studies Dept. & the Eastern Regional Black Panther Commemoration Committee. For more information: 212-650-5008; 718-231-7379; 646-920-6730.
NEW YORK, NY- Thursday, April 16, 7:30 p.m. -- New York University (Room 405, Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South). Free and open to the public.
NEW YORK, NY- Friday, April 17-Sunday, April 19 -- Left Forum, Pace University (One Pace Plaza, across from City Hall). King will be participating on two panels: "Let Freedom Ring: Strategies to Free US Political Prisoners Today" on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. and "Resistance Struggles on the Inside: Political Organizing Behind Bars" on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. For more information: http://www.leftforum.org / 212-817-2003.
New York, NY - Friday, April 17th, 6:30 PM -- Harlem Campus of the City College of NY, Lecture Hall 0-201, The North Academic Center. The City College Black Studies Department & The Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Community & Student Center Proudly Presents: Straight Out Of Harlem: "Live With Herb Boyd" Harlem's Own Internationally Renowned Author & Award Winning Journalist Herb Boyd To Host A Double Book Signing, Film & Live Conversation: With 32 Year Former "Angola 3" Political Prisoner, Robert Hillary King
NEW YORK, NY- Sunday, April 19 -- Solidarity Center (55 W. 17th St., 5th Floor). Keynote speaker at Jericho 4th Annual Day in Solidarity with Palestinian Political Prisoners. Sponsored by: NYC Jericho Movement, NYC Anarchist Black Cross Federation, NYC Free Mumia Coalition. For more information: email@example.com / www.jerichony.org / 718-853-0893
NEW YORK, NY- Monday, April 20, 12:00 p.m. -- Brooklyn College, Penthouse of Student Union Building (2900 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn). Free and open to the public.
STORRS, CT- Tuesday, April 21, 1:00 p.m. – “Injustice and the Case of the Angola 3.” Part of Human Rights Awareness Week, University of Connecticut (Konover Auditorium, Dodd Center). Free and open to the public. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org / 203-297-1740.
PHILADELPHIA, PA- Wednesday, April 22, 7:00 p.m. -- University of Pennsylvania (Terrace room in Claudia Cohen Hall - 249 South 36th Street, Philadelphia). Free and open to the public
*Signed copies of Robert Hillary King's autobiography From the Bottom of the Heap (PM Press, 2008) will be available for purchase at all events.
“I was born in the U.S.A. Born black, born poor. Is it then any wonder that I have spent most of my life in prison?” —Robert Hillary King
In 1970, a jury convicted Robert Hillary King (formerly known as Robert King Wilkerson) of a crime he did not commit and sentenced him to 35 years in prison. He became a member of the Black Panther Party while in Angola State Penitentiary, successfully organizing prisoners to improve conditions. In return, prison authorities beat him, starved him, and gave him life without parole after framing him for a second crime. He was thrown into solitary confinement, where he remained in a six-by-nine foot cell for 29 years as one of "the Angola 3." In 2001, the state grudgingly acknowledged his innocence and set him free.
In his autobiography, From the Bottom of the Heap: The Autobiography of Black Panther Robert Hillary King (PM Press, 2008), King begins his story at the beginning: born black, born poor, born in Louisiana in 1942. At the age of 15, King journeyed to Chicago as a hobo. He came back to Louisiana, married and had a child, and briefly pursued a semi-pro boxing career to help provide for his family. Just a teenager when he entered the Louisiana penal system for the first time, King tells of his attempts to break out of this system, and his persistent pursuit of justice where there is none.
The conditions King endured in Angola almost defy description, yet King never gave up his humanity, nor his tireless work towards justice for all prisoners. That work continues to this day, now "from the outside" — as he speaks out against the failures and inequities of the criminal injustice system, and fights to free his Angola 3 comrades Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, who have been behind bars for 36 years, most of them in solitary confinement.
Robert King's story is one of inspiration, courage, and the triumph of the human spirit. Says Malik Rahim, co-founder of Common Ground Collective (in post-Katrina New Orleans): "For a person to go through 29 years in one of the most brutal prisons in America and still maintain his sanity and humanity, that's what makes people want to listen to Robert."
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