Solitary by Albert Woodfox is a poignant and gripping memoir that chronicles the author’s experience of being wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for nearly four decades. The book is a haunting account of the injustices that occurred within the Louisiana prison system and the resilience and survival strategies that Woodfox employed to cope with his isolation.
The book is divided into three parts, each of which delves into different aspects of Woodfox’s life and experiences. In Part One, Woodfox recounts his childhood and the events that led him to become involved in the Black Panther Party. He describes how he and his brother Mardi were inspired by the party’s message of self-respect, self-defense, and equality for all people. Woodfox also shares how he and his brother became embroiled in a conflict with the police and were eventually charged with the murder of a white police officer.
Part Two of the book focuses on Woodfox’s time in Angola prison, where he was subjected to inhumane treatment and solitary confinement for nearly four decades. Woodfox describes the physical and psychological toll that isolation took on him and how he coped with the loneliness and despair of being alone for 24 hours a day. He also shares how he maintained his sanity by reading books, exercising, and writing letters to friends and family.
In Part Three, Woodfox reflects on his eventual release from prison and the aftermath of his imprisonment. He describes how he struggled to adjust to life outside of prison and how he grappled with the trauma of his experiences. Woodfox also shares how he became involved in the movement to abolish solitary confinement and how he continues to advocate for prisoners’ rights.
Overall, Solitary is a powerful and poignant memoir that offers a glimpse into the life of a man who endured unimaginable hardship and trauma. Woodfox’s story is a testament to the resilience and strength of the human spirit and serves as a reminder of the importance of fighting for justice and equality for all people.
If you’re interested in learning more about Albert Woodfox and his experiences, Solitary is a must-read. The book is available for purchase on Amazon and other major book retailers.