[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>
The Angola 3 Coalition suffered a tragic loss
this Christmas. Althea Francois, one of Angola
3s 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 90s, 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, Altheas 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
c/o Todd Taylor
7704 Benjamin St.
New Orleans, LA 70118
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
Al loved her some Nina Simone. We've included two
selections below for you to listen to (at
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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