4 comments
Sylena Wickstrom
Sylena Wickstrom

I am proud to read that he still believes that he can get through this and it's his goal to survive prison to prove his innocents. I also like that he quoted his inspirations at the end and is willing to do whatever it takes. I also hate that the "rules" change just because the prison system wants them to or they do it just because of the inmate. Kudos to the women who still kept on visiting him even after all of the "rules" changed. I also think that people should be aware of this particular injustice so that it doesn't happen to you or someone you love or know.


-Sylena Wickstrom

ShannonLeeMcBride
ShannonLeeMcBride

James Baldwin talks about The Fire Next Time. Here, Albert Woodfox talks about being all kinds of radical, about being on fire... More than once this semester, one of my teachers has referred to me as 'blazing', because that's what happens when I really start thinking about all of the injustices in the world. My soul is set on fire - at least for the duration of the conversation I'm having, or the book I'm reading, or the paper I'm writing. But then it gets to be too much, and I douse the flames with ambivalence and blinders and ear plugs, and sit once more in a peaceful, flame-less space. My time in those quiet spaces is becoming shorter, and the times of finding that I am ablaze are closer together - they last longer - I feel as though I am moving closer and closer to the flames as a permanent state of being. It is exhausting, and sometimes feels pointless. And then I read about Albert's interview with the psychiatrist, who wants him to provide evidence that 42 years in solitary confinement really haven't been that bad, and I am reminded that that fire is justified, and there is entirely too much fuel for this blaze all around me.

It is coming to the point at which every conversation I have with people eventually touches on an injustice in the world. I know that many people in my life are weary from my fight, and it is only really just beginning. But it is a battle that must be fought. No justice, no peace... turns out that mantra applies as much to me, and to my soul, as it does to the participants in our continued systems of oppression. Because yes, I intend to go after them, and shine bits of truth and justice on them, and walk through the rest of my life as an active anti-racist - but at night, it my soul that has no peace, because I know that there are so many without food, without a home, or sitting alone in an 8' x 10' cell, or waiting in some dark place to be paid for, or fearing that they will be deported, or waiting to be put to death by the state quite possibly for something they didn't do. And so now I'm carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders, and until I can find a way to get others in positions of wealth and power to carry some of it with me, I cannot rest. No justice, no peace. No justice, no peace. No justice, no peace...