Did you know?
One of our Honoraries was a Black Panther.
Robert Hillary King is a campaigner for justice and penal reform, writer, former member of the Black Panther Party and for 31 years was an Angola prison inmate.
Born in 1942, Robert grew up in an America where racial segregation was legally institutionalised. He spent several spells in Louisiana State Penitentiary, more commonly known as Angola prison, for convictions based on highly questionable evidence.
In 1973, Robert was wrongly charged with the murder of a fellow inmate.
It was in Angola's closed-cell restricted area that Robert came into contact with Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace.
Collectively, they began campaigning for better conditions for their fellow inmates and an end to the culture of brutality and discrimination. They came to be known as the 'Angola Three'.
Finally, in 2001, after a complex arrangement of plea bargaining, Robert walked free from Angola prison.
Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace remain in Angola prison, serving their 40th year in solitary confinement, and Robert has vowed to continue to tour, to campaign and to speak on their behalf until they are released.
In 2011 Robert came to Anglia Ruskin University, where he spoke at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2012, ARU presented Robert Hillary King with the award of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
After 31 years living in the most brutal conditions imaginable, Robert emerged not only with his sanity intact, but his humanity too, and this bears testament to his courage and fortitude. His commitment to this cause is an inspiration.
Learn more about Robert's story in our #BHM story highlights.
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