From the Bottom of the Heap: The Autobiography of Black Panther Robert Hillary King

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PM Press, Oct 1, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 224 pages
In 1970, a jury convicted Robert Hillary King of a crime he did not commit and sentenced him to 35 years in prison. He became a member of the Black Panther Party while in Angola State Penitentiary, successfully organizing prisoners to improve conditions. In return, prison authorities beat him, starved him, and gave him life without parole after framing him for a second crime. He was thrown into solitary confinement, where he remained in a six by nine foot cell for 29 years as one of the Angola 3. In 2001, the state grudgingly acknowledged his innocence and set him free. This is his story.It begins at the beginning: born black, born poor, born in Louisiana in1942, King journeyed to Chicago as a hobo at the age of 15. He married and had a child, and briefly pursued a semi-pro boxing career to help provide for his family. Just a teenager when he entered the Louisiana penal system for the first time, King tells of his attempts to break out of this system, and his persistent pursuit of justice where there is none.Yet this remains a story of inspiration and courage, and the triumph of the human spirit. The conditions in Angola almost defy description, yet King never gave up his humanity, or the work towards justice for all prisoners that he continues to do today. From the Bottom of the Heap, so simply and humbly told, strips bare the economic and social injustices inherent in our society, while continuing to be a powerful literary testimony to our own strength and capacity to overcome.
 

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User Review  - PoliticalMediaReview - LibraryThing

Presenting one’s memoir consciously as that of a former Black Panther Party member, even as simply a factual statement, is bound to bring any such book into some heady company. Think Assata Shakur’s ... Read full review

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Contents

Chapter 1
29
Chapter 2
31
Chapter 3
35
Chapter 4
41
Chapter 5
47
Chapter 6
55
Chapter 7
61
Chapter 8
67
Chapter 15
131
Chapter 16
135
Chapter 17
143
Chapter 18
149
Chapter 19
153
Chapter 20
161
Chapter 21
169
Chapter 22
177

Chapter 9
75
Chapter 10
83
Chapter 11
91
Chapter 12
101
Photographs
105
Chapter 13
117
Chapter 14
123
Chapter 23
187
Chapter 24
191
Postscript
201
Appendices
203
Also Available from PM Press
219
About PM Press
224
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Robert Hilary King was a member of the Black Panther Party who spent 32 years in Angola Prison. Dr. Terry Kupers, MD, MSP, is a psychiatrist and the author of Prison Madness and Re-Visioning Men's Lives. He has appeared in numerous trials as an expert witness on prisons and prisoner's mental health.

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