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.
Robert King has been featured in numerous print, media and film articles and interviews worldwide including: CNN, National Public Radio, NBC, BBC and ITN as well as two films, Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation and Land of the Free. He is the author of ” From the Bottom of the Heap: The Autobiography of a Black Panther”
“After his exoneration in 2001, [King] emerged from prison a vital, socially conscious, and very caring leader.” – Terry A. Kupers, M.D., M.S.P., Institute Professor The Wright Institute
After his release, Louisiana native Robert King worked with the Common Ground Collective in New Orleans. He now lives in Austin where he works tirelessly for the freedom of Angola 3 defendants Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox. And where he has gained fame as a candy maker. King now makes and sells “freelines” to support his social activism. He made pralines in prison while in solitary confinement. He burned paper in soda cans to cook the candies and gathered ingredients from other prisoners and guards.