[Ppnews] Angola 3 Alert: Join us in helping to send Sister Althea on her journey home

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Dec 28 21:24:57 EST 2009


From: Hans Bennett <hbjournalist1 at gmail.com>

<http://angola3news.blogspot.com/2009/12/althea-francois-memorial-fundraiser.html>http://angola3news.blogspot.com/2009/12/althea-francois-memorial-fundraiser.html

The Angola 3 Coalition suffered a tragic loss 
this Christmas. Althea Francois, one of Angola 
3’s earliest supporters and a life-long activist 
for peace and social justice, crossed over to the 
ancestors on December 25th at the far too early age of 60.

Althea spent her life actively engaged in the 
struggle for justice, starting with her 
involvement in the Black Panther Party, where she 
began her efforts to help political, economic and 
racial prisoners. She embodied the finest and 
most basic ideals of empathy and generosity and 
inspired all of us that had the privilege of coming in contact with her.

As Angola 3 member Robert King struggled to find 
words to express the depth of his sorrow, he 
invoked the biblical reference
"I was hungry and 
you fed me, was thirsty and you gave me drink, 
was in prison and you visited me. Althea fed us 
with hope. She had an enormously giving spirit that we will all deeply miss."

In the late ‘90’s, Althea and Marion Brown, 
together with Malik and Mwalimu, Shana and Brice, 
Anita Yesheaux, Vicky Wallace, and Ed (Alton 
Edwards), solidly grounded the efforts to free 
the Angola 3 and create a base for political 
prisoner work in New Orleans. When King was 
released in February of 2001, he moved to the 
home that Althea and Marion were staying in on 
Bartholomew St. in the 9th Ward. For the first 
few years of visiting the prison and organizing 
the effort, Althea’s home was the base that all 
of us worked from. There was always food and room for another mat on the floor.

Althea was finally able to purchase a home-base 
for her daughters and grandchildren in the 
Gentilly area of New Orleans. Katrina ripped 
apart the security she had at long last 
established and the years since 2005 were a tense 
balancing act between work in Atlanta, work in 
New Orleans, her children and her grandchildren. 
Though Al rarely complained, she was beset with a 
number of crippling maladies- asthma, high-blood 
pressure and the incessant pressure of keeping a 
family together in these difficult times with never enough support.

She loved her daughters with the ferocity of a 
lioness and was so proud of their 
accomplishments. They were the center of her 
being and I know that what would worry her most 
now is the pain they will feel at her loss.

Sadly, Althea had no insurance and no savings, 
thus leaving her daughters not only with the 
grief of losing her, but with the challenge of 
raising funds for her funeral. If you can help 
with a donation to the family, please send what 
you can to defray the funeral costs to:

Rhodes Funeral Home
3933 Washington Avenue
New Orleans, LA
(504) 822-7162

Or:

Olga Francois
c/o Todd Taylor
7704 Benjamin St.
New Orleans, LA 70118
(202) 277-0997

The Service will be Saturday, January 2, 2010 at 10AM at Rhodes Funeral Home.

Additional information will be posted as received.

--View the photo presentation from Althea's 
January, 2009 birthday party 
<http://www.indybay.org/uploads/2009/12/28/althea.pdf>here. 
Al loved her some Nina Simone. We've included two 
selections below for you to listen to (at 
<http://www.angola3news.com>www.angola3news.com).




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