LA State Penitentiary

Almost 50 years ain’t enough? Free Kenny Zulu Whitmore!

Published in: SF Bayview, 26 June 2022

The-Zulu-shade-never-fades, Almost 50 years ain’t enough? Free Kenny Zulu Whitmore!, Behind Enemy Lines
“The Zulu shade never fades” and neither does the spirit of liberation within the too many wrongfully convicted and unjustly sentenced Black, Brown and Indigenous people languishing within U.S. prisons. With their freedom on the line, but still needing to speak, we’re honoring their anonymity – and need for support. “Because of people’s appreciation of craft, it gets into places where it really shouldn’t and the politics become secondary to the workmanship of the actual art piece. I’ve always found that when people come to look at something from an aesthetic point of view they are more open to reading it and looking at it and taking it in.” – Carrie Reichardt, of ‘Treatment Rooms Collective’ a team of artists/Zulu supporters out of the UK.

by an anonymous supporter

I recently read an article on May 10, 2022, where elderly political prisoner Sundiata Acoli, 85 years of age now, was ordered released by a New Jersey Supreme Court after serving more than 49 years in the belly of the Beast.

And on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, Kerry Shakaboona Marshall walks out of prison after being held captive for 34 years into the arms of his mother who was known as Mama Pat. Patricia Vickery worked tirelessly for her son’s release. This made me think of Kenny Zulu Whitmore,  Political Prisoner in Louisiana.

Kenny Zulu Whitmore was “captured by the modern-day slave catchers,” as he once said, in February 1975, for the August 15, 1973 robbery and murder of the mayor of a rural town in the Parish of East Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Zulu was 18 years of age at the time, and racial tension was, as it was around the country in 1973, high and violent. Zulu has maintained his innocence of the robbery and murder. At the time of his arrest in February 1975, he was held incommunicado by E.B.R.P.D. for three days, taken out of jail into a heavily wooded area beaten and tortured, refused food and drink by his captors, until they beat a false confession out of him.

Zulu was tried and convicted of armed robbery and second-degree murder and was sentenced to Life Without the Possibility of Parole (LWOP), plus over 100 years in prison.

Shortly afterward, Zulu was transferred to the notorious Louisiana state plantation better known as Angola. Upon his arrival to Angola, Zulu was immediately placed into CCC/Close-Cell Restriction, known around the country as solitary confinement.

In solitary, Zulu met members of Angola 3 and joined the Angola chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self-defense. Our beloved comrade would spend the next 37 1/2 years in solitary confinement. He is now being housed in general population. 

Currently, Zulu’s case is pending in the district court awaiting a ruling by the judge. Zulu has been incarcerated 47 and a half years. We cannot forget our Elderly Warrior in his struggle for justice. As more legal updates become available, I will pass them on. Let’s show our brother some love and light.

Kenny Zulu Whitmore

Send our brother some love and light: Kenny Zulu Whitmore, 86468 Cypress #3, Louisiana State Prison, Angola, LA 70712.

Zulu is making facemasks!

Zulu’s first photo after being released from solitary confinement 2015

We just received a phone call from Zulu, who told us that he is a volunteer making facemasks for first responders in Baton Rouge!

He is staying in the gym with 18 others, where he also sleeps, and each day they make facemasks from cloth that comes from the teeshirt-factory at the prison. They sew the masks together before they are going to the first responders in Baton Rouge.

Zulu said he had volunteered to make the masks, after he was called into the office of a prison director and was asked whether he wanted to participate. Zulu had already made himself a facemask from a handkerchief, because he was housed in a dorm with 86 others. He had also on a daily basis made sure the shower area was clean by using a bleach dissolution.

Zulu lets us know his health is alright, but with so many people packed in dorms there is a big risk of the COVID-19 spreading, so he is glad he can participate in the effort to make facemasks for the prisoners as well as for first responders, and that he can do so in a more spaceous area. They work every day as volunteers.

Zulu said the internet reception to send and receive Jpay emails is not good in the gym, so he cannot write or receive Jpay mails as quickly as usually.

We want to say thank you Zulu and others for caring for everyone during this pandemic.

CDC: How to make a cloth face mask sew and no sew

Please also sign this petition: Life-saving Measures to Protect Louisiana Prisoners from Covid-19

Updates on Zulu

From the Zulu Europe Support Team, March 18, 2017

Zulu celebrated his birthday with his family in October

Greetings fellow supporters of Kenny Zulu Whitmore. We apologise that it has been so long since we have given you all an update on our beloved Brother and Comrade Zulu, but we were bound by legal means from shining the light on our Warrior Brother’s plight. But here we are nevertheless, with some amazing news about our Brother Zulu.

On November 16th, 2015, Zulu, who was then the prisoner longest held in solitary confinement after Albert Woodfox, was released to general population, transferred to a dormitory within the prison in Angola, LA. After thirty-seven and a half years of living in a 9-6 ft cell, Zulu now shares the dormitory with 94 other prisoners. Being as well-known as he is, he has not had any problems of retaliation.

Zulu has a prison job where he is earning 2 ct an hour, as most of the prisoners do in Angola, LA, or should we call it what it is (a mere 2 ct an hour as amodern-day slave on one of the largest plantations in America). But it has been reported that Zulu is in good health and in strong spirits as always.

Zulu receives regular visits from his family, friends and his legal team. Zulu’s 14-year-old granddaughter Reagan says: “I love Big Papa and want him to come home!” Her father, Zulu’s son Rodney, takes her to see her grandfather whenever possible.

Zulu has completed several educational re-entry programs since being in the General Population area of the prison, and he is slanted to enroll in the GED program on a C.P.R. course in the very near future. Our brother Zulu has also become a very skillful craftsman in leather craft, such as belts, etc.

On the legal front, Kenny Zulu Whitmore was convicted of murder and armed robbery of the ex-Mayor of a rural community in East Baton Rouge Parish, that happened August 15th, 1973, and he was tried on January 3rd to 6th, 1977. He was convicted and sentenced to Life and over a hundred years in prison.

On July 31st 2014, Zulu’s legal team filed a Post Conviction Relief (PCR) citing several constitutional violations in Baton Rouge District Court. After over 24 months and many other small litigations it was ordered by the District Court Commissioner on February 2nd, 2017, that the State of Louisiana respond to the Constitutional claims made within Zulu’s Post Conviction Relief. We are waiting to hear when there will be a Hearing, and we will keep you updated whenever possible.

You can send our Warrior Brother some Love and Light at:

Kenny Zulu Whitmore
86468 J-Bass Unit
LA State Penitentiary
Angola, LA 70712

Annabelle, ZuluSupportEurope.wordpress.com