** PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY**
BOOKING/MEDIA CONTACT: Justine Johnson, Aid & Abet Booking Agency
Ph: 413-695-1721 cell
FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE HEAP
A Talk by Robert Hillary King, the Only Freed Member of the Angola 3
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
EVENT DETAILS — PLEASE INCLUDE IN APPROPRIATE CALENDAR LISTINGS & FORWARD WIDELY:
ROXBURY, MA- Saturday, April 4, 2:00 p.m. -- Dudley Branch Library (65 Warren St., Roxbury). Free and open to the public.. Sponsored by Jericho Boston and the New England Committee to Defend Palestine. For more information: 617-442-6186.
BOSTON, MA- Sunday, April 5, 6:00 p.m. -- Community Church of Boston (565 Boylston St. - Copley Square). $5-25 sliding scale. Dinner (vegan & meat) will be provided. Sponsored by American Friends Service Committee & the Community Church of Boston. For more information: 617-266-6710.
BRATTLEBORO, VT- Tuesday, April 7, 6:00 p.m. -- Latchis 4 (corner of Main & Flat Streets). Sliding scale $2-20; no one turned away for lack of funds. Refreshments served. For more information: 802-275-8133.
SPRINGFIELD, MA- Wednesday, April 8, 12:15 p.m. -- Blake Law Center, Room C, Western New England College (1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield). Free and open to the public. For more information: 413-782-1416.
NORTHAMPTON, MA- Wednesday, April 8, 7:00 p.m. -- Neilson Browsing Library, Neilson Library, Smith College. Free and open to the public. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
AMHERST, MA- Thursday, April 9, 7:00 p.m. -- Gordon Hall, 3rd Floor, University of Massachusetts (418 N. Pleasant St.). Free and open to the public. For more information: email@example.com.
TROY, NY- Friday, April 10, 7:00 p.m. -- Sanctuary for Independent Media (3361 6th Avenue, North Troy). Suggested donation $10 / $5 students & low-income. For more information: 518-207-6264.
ROCHESTER, NY- Saturday, April 11, 6:30 p.m. – First Universalist Church of Rochester (150 S. Clinton Ave.). Free and open to the public. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org / 617-877-3809.
MIDDLETOWN, CT- Monday, April 13, 8:00 p.m. -- Wesleyan University (Exley, Room 150). Free and open to the public.
[Locations TBA - Tuesday, April 14-Wednesday, April 15]
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: Turning Points for the Movements to Free US Political Prisoners" and "Resistance Struggles on the Inside: Political Organizing Behind Bars". For more information: http://www.leftforum.org / 212-817-2003.
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. (tentative time) -- Brooklyn College (exact location TBA). Free and open to the public.
HARTFORD, CT- Tuesday, April 21, 11:00 a.m. -- Human Rights Awareness Week, University of Connecticut (exact location TBA). 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 (exact location TBA). 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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