Wednesday, November 19, 2014
In the Place of Justice
Wilbert Rideau's In the Place of Justice: A Story of Punishment and Deliverance, is a memoir of Rideau's forty four years spent in the Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola prison). Rideau killed a woman at the age of nineteen in a bank robbery attempt and was sentenced to death, a sentence that was eventually changed to life imprisonment. Many years later, his murder conviction was changed to manslaughter, after it was determined he had not been given a fair trial because of racial discrimination. While at Angola, he became the editor of the prison magazine, The Angolite. Under his editorship, Rideau won many awards for journalism, and The Angolite was nominated multiple times for the National Magazine Award under his leadership. Rideau even became an NPR correspondent from Angola. He was the first African American editor of prison magazine in the U.S. This unflinching, honest account of Rideau's life explores issues of race, power, and the concept of redemption. Very interesting and thought provoking - highly recommended.