Herman Wallace (1941-2013)

In Memoriam.

Herman Wallace passed away early this morning, October 4, 2013, just three days after being released from Angola Prison, where he spent more than four decades in solitary confinement. Almost immediately upon his incarcerated for armed robbery  in  1971, Along with  Albert Woodfox and several other inmates, Wallace established the Angola Chapter of the Black Panther Party. Wallace and the Panthers organized inside of the notorious Louisiana prison to improve conditions for inmates, and to reduce inmate violence. In 1972, Angola guard Brent Miller was killed inside of the prison. Without physical evidence, and based on flimsy and tainted testimony, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox were found guilty of Miller’s murder and were placed in solitary confinement, along with Robert King (who was linked to, but not convicted of the murder). Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox, and Robert King are known as the Angola 3.

Collectively, the Angola 3 has served more than a century in solitary confinement. Robert King was released in 2001, after 29 years in solitary confinement. Albert Woodfox remains in solitary confinement at Angola. And after enormous pressure, Herman Wallace, was released on October 1, 2013 into hospice care to live out the remaining few days of his life with advanced liver cancer. He passed away  surrounded by friends in the early hours of October 4, 2013, just nine days shy of his 72nd birthday.

The legal battles for Albert Woodfox’s improved conditions, release into the general population, and release from prison continues. And Herman Wallace’s life and memory will continue the struggle to raise consciousness about the use of solitary confinement in American prisons, as well as the injustice of our criminal justice system more generally.

The Prison Studies Group is working to put together  a screening of Herman’s House, accompanied by a panel discussion on solitary confinement and a conversation with artist Jackie Sumell for early November. If you (or your organization) is interested in being involved in this, co-sponsoring the event, or providing a space (theater space preferable), please let us know at prisonstudiesgroup@gmail.com. Stay tuned for details.

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For More Information…

…on Herman Wallace and The Angola 3:

Herman’s House Trailer:



In The Land of the Free Trailer:



The Farm: Angola, USA


… on Solitary Confinement:


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