By Shyamalie Satkunanandan Wilbert Rideau’s decision to rob a bank ended in the hostage taking of three employees and the death of a white female bank teller. Amid lynch mobs baying for blood, an all-white jury and a defence team comprised of two real estate lawyers the then 19-year-old was sentenced to death in 1961 […]
In 1961 Wilbert Rideau was a nineteen year old African-American living in Louisiana, the deep south of segregated America. An eighth-grade dropout despaired by the dead-end and small-town future his life held for him he set out to rob a local bank. The robbery went very wrong and Rideau found himself sentenced to death row. Award winning journalist Wilbert Rideau will be joining us at the Frontline Club in conversation with Afua Hirsch, the Guardian’s legal affairs correspondent to recount his extraordinary story and the work he now does educating people about the realities of the world behind bars.