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  • Rob Will

Lessons From Albert Woodfox

Albert Woodfox passed on last week. He lived a life of righteousness honor and integrity and remained a stalwart champion of Criminal Justice Reform until the day that he transitioned. His book Solitary: Unbroken By Four Decades In Solitary Confinement. My Story of Transformation and Hope is a deeply inspiring memoir, work of history and a clarion call for people to become involved (or more involved) in social justice issues, specifically in relation to solitary confinement and criminal justice. The last paragraph of Solitary reads as follows:

To those of you who are just entering the world of social struggle, welcome. To those of you who have spent years struggling for human rights and social justice: Don't give up. Look at me and see how the strength and determination of the human spirit defy all evil. For 44 years I defied the state of Louisiana and the Department of Corrections. Their main objective was to break my spirit. They did not break me. I have witnessed the horrors of man's cruelty to man. I did not lose my humanity. I bear the scars of beatings, loneliness, isolation and persecution. I am also marked by every kindness.

Wow! I definitely felt that very deeply. Never give up. Remain steadfast and resilient in the face of adversity. Albert Woodfox lived that life and he reminds us that we all can as well.

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