letters of note - sylvia pankhurst suffragette

The secret prison world behind bars and walls is a mystery that very few people ever see. Popular television shows paint a false picture of prison life. Social activists are often not represented on fictional stories. Prisoner writings illuminate prisoners’ struggles and shed light on their strong will. Here are three examples from many. letters of noteThat have inspired, hoped, and provided wisdom that could not be kept behind bars. 

Sylvia Pankhurst

Sylvia Pankhurst, a noted suffragette/communist, spent significant time in prison for various offenses. Pankhurst, who was then 24 years old when she was initially arrested to protest in the House of Commons with nine women was released a few weeks later. Pankhurst was eventually released a few days later. However, prison became almost her way of life and she was been arrested 15 times. 

Pankhurst’s first letter was stolen from Holloway Prison. Pankhurst, who was on hunger strike at the time, was being forced to eat. The letterHer letter, currently displayed at Museum of London is addressed to her mother. In it, she describes how force-feeding was a difficult experience while in prison. Pankhurst wrote most of her letters from home rather than from prison.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison for protesting against South Africa’s apartheid regime. Mandela, who was also a lawyer, was an African National Congress member and prolific writer. At least 255 letters were written during his time in prison. Mandela was a tireless advocate for equality for all and an end to apartheid during his time in prison. He wrote letters to family members and government officials, as well as to prison authorities. His letters all showed an unbelievably optimistic outlook and strong belief in human right causes, even though he knew that being imprisoned was very difficult for him.

Mandela was just one year old and his three-year-old daughters when he was arrested. The authorities wouldn’t allow Mandela to see them until they turned 18. Mandela had to attempt to become a father through the written word. Many of the letters he wrote to his daughters weren’t sent out by prison officers and were discovered only years after his release. 

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr., a well-known human rights activist, was also frequently in jail. He wrote many notes during his imprisonment. He wrote many letters, but the one that was most significant to him was an open letter known as “The Last Letter.” Note from Birmingham Jail Where Dr. King responds to an editorial by eight clergymen from Alabama who criticize his protest method. 

Newspaper was the only type of paper Dr. King could write on, and so he wrote Let me know from Birmingham In its margins. The prisoner was robbed of his papers and a trusted person began giving him pieces of paper. Dr. King later allowed the attorneys to furnish him with more paper. One of the most significant documents of the 20th Century, The Letter from Birmingham can be found in secondary schools in several countries and universities all over the globe.

Here are just a few letters from behind prison bars. Other notables include Sir Thomas Malory who wrote the first ever written account of Camelot’s legends, as well Marco Polo who wrote from a Genoese jail about his adventures.

By Rolen Awerkamp

Kristin Burton is a highly acclaimed author, journalist, and editor who has made a significant impact in the literary world. As a journalist for InEntertainment, she has covered a wide range of topics, including politics, culture, and social issues. Her work has been recognized and honored by many prominent organizations and publications.