NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans artist Brandan “Bmike” Odums (Exhibit BE) has joined with Amnesty International USA’s Art for Amnesty program to create a mural calling on Governor Bobby Jindal and Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell to release Alfred Woodfox from prison after 43 years in solitary confinement.
The mural will be created in advance of the Essence Festival in New Orleans from July 2-5.
Woodfox has had his conviction overturned three times, and in June a federal judge ordered his unconditional release. However, that order was put on hold when the state appealed.
“Albert Woodfox’s 43-year-long nightmare is an outrage, and we continue to call for his release,” said Steven W. Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “Through Bmike’s passion and vision, we hope to awaken new audiences to Albert’s situation and inspire them to take action. The state of Louisiana must free Albert from incarceration, and from the deeply flawed legal process that has consumed him for more than four decades."
Woodfox, along with Herman Wallace and Robert King, was convicted of the 1972 murder of prison guard Brent Miller and has been incarcerated for most of the time since then at the state penitentiary in Angola. Woodfox believes that he and his fellow prisoners, known as the Angola 3, were implicated in the murder because of their activism with the Black Panther Party.
His first conviction was overturned in 1992 on the grounds of “systemic discrimination.” He was retried and convicted again in 2001, but had that conviction overturned in 2008. It was overturned a third time in 2013. Woodfox is the only remaining Angola 3 prisoner still incarcerated. King was released in 2001 and Wallace was released in 2013, days before he died from untreated liver cancer.
“Its our job as creatives to uplift the social ills that plague or community and world. I hope this mural is another step in raising awareness for Albert and for the governor to do the right thing,” said Bmike.
“I couldn't be more than happy to support and work with Art For Amnesty at Amnesty International.”
Mural calling for release of Albert Woodfox.
Brandan "Bmike" Odums, artist.
537 S. Claiborne Avenue New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
Work on the mural will begin on July 1 at and scheduled to be completed on July 3