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November 11, 2013


Duke Special Collections Library

A Prisoner And A Guard From The Attica Prison Riots

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In 1971, the nation watched as an uprising at Attica Prison in upstate New York unfolded. Inmates held prison guards hostage to negotiate more humane prison conditions. Negotiations stalled, the authorities stormed in, and, when the smoke settled, the final death toll was 43.

Jomo Davis was a prisoner and Black Panther leader who organized inmates once the rebellion began. Mike Smith was a guard who was taken hostage within the prison walls. Both men talk with Dick Gordon about their experience of the Attica uprising and what they carry with them from those four days.

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