A Moral Compass That Was Unbreakable

Albert Woodfox, Herman Wallace

Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox in the early 70’s (PC: In The Land of the Free)

An excerpt from Albert Woodfox’s recent autobiographical article in The Guardian. He was a Black Panther who spent more than 40 years in solitary confinement.

I made my bed every morning. I cleaned the cell. I had my own cleanup rag I used to wipe down the walls. When they passed out a broom and mop I swept and mopped the floor of my cell. I worked out at least an hour every morning in my cell.

By the time I was 40 I saw how I had transformed my cell, which was supposed to be a confined space of destruction and punishment, into something positive. I used that space to educate myself, I used that space to build strong moral character, I used that space to develop principles and a code of conduct, I used that space for everything other than what my captors intended it to be. Continue reading