The American People Archive, New Orleans Portfolio. Angola State Prison. Joyful Inmates At Show.
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These guys do not appear to be a gang of hardened and violent criminals. Most of them were put in Angola State Prison in Louisiana because of selling drugs that enhance non-violent behavIour - mostly Grass that authorities have banned from being acquired by the American people. These inmates were happy to be recognized as human beings, rather than despised as thugs.
The outdoor event - musicians and performers were arriving for a special performance - and these inmates were at the entrance gate to the 'stadium' to greet them, and were pleased to be noticed. The performers (and myself there to document the occasion) were allowed to mingle freely with the inmates...and this group was a bunch of nice guys more interested in having a good time than being violent. They basically felt that they were there in prison from political motives to suppress the Flower Power movement of that generation, and were being victimized by the legal system simply to maintain the administration of penal institutions, where they were being treated as non-entities.
These images are part of a documentary series on 'The Hippie Invasion of The French Quarter 197l' - selected from The New Orleans Portfolio.
I often wonder where any of these men are today and would greatly appreciate any feedback or backstory from anyone that has further information on the identity of these individuals or any other persons whose images appear in my historical portfolios of documentary photographs on The American People.
Also by Alwyn Scott Turner
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