[Pnews] Freedom ain't never been free - Zulu Whitmore tribute to Herman Wallace

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Sep 30 14:58:40 EDT 2013

      Freedom ain't never been free


Shaka (Albert), Zulu and Hooks (Herman)

Revolutionary Greetings my People:

I can imagine that when the founding Brothers founded the Black Panther 
in Oakland, CA in 1966, they could not have envisioned the mayhem, 
murder, hatred and the false imprisonment of our sisters, brothers by 
the evil empire, with hundreds who are languishing in the nation's many 
solitary confinement units to this day.

I can also imagine that they could not have foreseen all of the 
accomplishments that were made as well. The Breakfast Program, Medicare, 
the influence that we have had and still have on revolutionary groups 
around the world and a legacy that is so vibrate that only a Panther can 
tell its history.

Now try to imagine those Panther Brothers and Sisters who took that 
courageous stand and founded chapters of the BPP in some of the nation's 
most deplorable prisons. Well, shortly after my arriving at the LA State 
Penitentiary, at Angola, LA, I joined one such chapter, founded by 
Herman Hooks Wallace, Robert King and Albert Shaka Woodfox. And to say 
that my comrades and I have endured hardship will be an understatement.

I was put into CCR Solitary Confinement in Feb. 1978 on D-tier. Several 
of the tiers were Panther tiers. Others Outlaw D.R. and a Skinhead tier.

My first two weeks on D-tier living next door to Albert Woodfox, AKA 
Shaka, I was observing how things went. "Reach one Teach one" was in 
full effect. Tutors were helping guys to bring their reading, writing up 
to standards. There was BPP literature everywhere. Photos of Huey, 
Bobby, Angela, George, you name it, they had it. The BPP Ten Point 
Program <http://www.itsabouttimebpp.com/home/bpp_program_platform.html> 
was taught, the movement was alive and growing. Shaka used to give me 
lots of books to read and he used to talk with me about politics. One 
book he gave me to read: /Native Son/, by Richard Wright 
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Son>, changed my life, way of 
thinking. I looked in the mirror and saw Bigger Thompson. Like others 
around me , I made that conscious choice to transform from a street 
soldier mentality to a revolutionary one and my comrade Shaka helped me 
do that.

The Hill, as the reception center, CCR and D.R building was known as, 
was the "heart of the Black Consciousness Movement," if a work stoppage 
or slow walk was called, the order came from the Hill, CCR, solitary 

To better our deplorable living conditions, after agreement from all of 
the tiers, a list of demands would be sent to the supervisor. If they 
failed, a hunger strike would be agreed to and carried out until our 
demands were met.

King had a strong leadership ability. He inspired guys to have 
confidence in themselves, he was a dispute solver for most of the guys, 
and he picked up the nickname RedCross.

Chairman Hooks, it was upon his urging that I joined the Angola chapter 
of the BPP in March 1978. Hooks is a people person, he can talk with 
anyone. He has big love and respect among the prison population. Black 
and White.

Hooks assigned me my job. I would be responsible for delivering 
information to other Panthers in general population whenever I had a 
call-out to the prison hospital, the main orderie of the prison grape 
vine. anyone who is on call-out for any given day, name and location 
would appear on that day's call-out sheet.
All of the messages going and coming had to be memorized, because notes 
will be found during searches, and we could not have that kind of 
information falling into the enemy's hands. My contact would come up and 
cite one of the ten points like:

/We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of Black people./

I had to in return recite the number of the point he just recited, #7 We 
exchanged greetings, took care of business and he was gone.


Zulu and Shaka 2009

My other duty was to have comrade Shaka's back at all times. In 1983 
during a reclass board hearing that was strangely being held in the 
lobby, both Shaka and myself were put in full restraints to go out. his 
door was opened, mine was not. Shaka was stabbed in the back and nearly 

Shaka stayed in the prison hospital for a week. the blade missed his 
spinal cord by an inch. The attacker was transferred out of the building 
immediately. King was at Camp-J disciplinary unit. I had to meet with 
Hooks to piece this shit together. Shaka fully recovered. With minor 
problems. Set up or not, I felt really bad, because had I not been 
prevented from being out there, I could have done something.

Our last mass hunger strike was carried out in May 1999, because of 
conditions in the transitional unit/CCR. We got full participation. We 
demanded to see warden Burl Cain. He asked for a grace period of 3 days 
before meeting with us. After the second day, the strike was put on hold.

The next morning, Herman Hooks Wallace, Robert King, Albert Shaka 
Woodfox, myself Zulu, and Barbette Wiliams were all transferred to 
Camp-J disciplinary unit. However, the warden did meet with the others, 
most of our demands were met. Hooks, King, Shaka and myself stayed in 
the disciplinary unit 11-13 months.

There are still Panther brothers here in Angola, who have never come out 
of the shadows. hey have various jobs, or are trustees, and all see how 
administration after administration have left me, Shaka, chairman Hooks 
in solitary confinement. Me for 27 consecutive years, and 35 in total, 
Shaka and Hooks have been in CCR for 41 years. I understand those 
brothers' situation. We are all graying, getting old, sick, dying in 
prison. Do I have any regrets? No, because I made a conscious choice to 
join the BPP. To be a revolutionary. I know to whom much is given, much 
is required. I don't give a fuck about the law, but I want justice.


King, Hooks, Shaka

Herman, R. King, Shaka Woodfox, we have entered many battles as 
comrades, won some, lost a few, but have survived them all, but this 
most recent battle that we have undertaken, one of us will not return. 
the Ancestors have made the call to come home to our beloved senior 
comrade. What can we do but heed their call? Even if you are late-the 
Black Panther Party will meet you at that gate, and when you get home, 
roam, old panther, roam.

All power to the people. Freedom ain't never been free. Zulu Whitmore, 
July 25th, 2013
Kenny Zulu Whitmore 86468 - D/HAWK - 4L LA State Prison, Angola, LA 
70712 USA
Website by supporters: Freezulu.org <http://freezulu.org/>

This text was written for the Black Panther Party 47th Year Reunion 
Celebration Oct 17-19th 2013 in Santa Rosa, CA. 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/ppnews_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20130930/79934bb2/attachment.html>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: zulu-herman-albert.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 9446 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/ppnews_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20130930/79934bb2/attachment.jpg>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: albertenzuludex2009.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 25828 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/ppnews_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20130930/79934bb2/attachment-0001.jpg>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Angola3.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 7410 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/ppnews_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20130930/79934bb2/attachment-0002.jpg>

More information about the PPnews mailing list