Watch the complete roundtable discussion on the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party with four former Panthers who spent decades behind bars as political prisoners.
In New York, in his first global broadcast interview, we’re joined by Sekou Odinga, who helped build a Black Panther chapter in the Bronx. He was later involved in the Black Liberation Army. He was convicted in 1984 of charges related to his alleged involvement in the escape of Assata Shakur from prison and a Brink’s armored car robbery. After serving 33 years in state and federal prison, he was released in November of 2014. In Baltimore, Eddie Conway joins us, a former Black Panther leader who was released from prison in March 2014 after serving 44 years for a murder of a police officer. He always maintained he was set up under the FBI’s COINTELPRO. And in Austin we are joined by two former members of the Angola Three who formed one of the first Black Panther chapters in a prison. Robert King spent 32 years in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola, 29 of them in solitary confinement. He was released in 2001 after his conviction was overturned. With him is Albert Woodfox, who until February of this year was the longest-standing solitary confinement prisoner in the United States. He was held in isolation in a six-by-nine-foot cell almost continuously for 43 years and released on his 69th birthday.