Sometimes fighting for what you believe in takes sacrifice, that’s why Angela Davis is our Friday Feature Feminist!
Angela Davis is described as a scholar, a writer, and an activist for women and civil rights. Her work made her well known. But through her efforts, she has not always been well received.
Davis was jailed for 18 months and acquitted, charged with “aggravated kidnapping and first-degree murder in the death of Judge Harold Haley” for having purchased a gun used to take hostage several and kill the Judge.
California law states “all persons concerned in the commission of a crime, whether they directly commit the act constituting the offense… principals in any crime so committed,” which led Angela Davis to be put on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive List, making her the third woman to be put on that list. This was not the first time the FBI had been involved with Davis.
Previously, she had been questioned after her attendance at a Communist-sponsored event in Finland for the World Festival of Youth and Students.
“This is a platform for dialogue, global form of communication: through discussions, cultural programs, sports, through free communication to find ways to confront the challenges that younger generation is facing today.”
Davis has also always been involved with academics. She went to Brandeis University, studied in Biarritz and at the Sorbonne, the University of Frankfurt, and then taught at the University of California, San Diego. Once they found out she was a Communist, she was fired. She fought back, got her job back, and ended up leaving in 1970 when her contract expired.
She has written several novels including; Women Race and Class, Are Prisons Obsolete?, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism, The Meaning of Freedom, Women Culture and Politics, Abolition Democracy, If They Come in the Morning, Freedom is a Constant Struggle, The Prison Industrial Complex, Angela Davis: An Autobiography, and Violence Against Women and the Ongoing Challenge to Racism.
Today she is teaching again, this time at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her classes include those on the history of consciousness, her affiliation being the Feminist Studies Department. She also has traveled for the last 25 years as a lecturer, lecturing in every state in the US, several countries in Africa and Europe, the Caribbean, and the former Soviet Union. She recently visited my college, where students described her lecture as “eye-opening,” “humbling,” and “inspiring.”
I still feel so blessed that I was even in the presence of the Queen Angela Davis yesterday, but to talk to her and shake her hand and hear her articulate so eloquently the ‘Struggles of Freedom’ was unbelievably inspiring. I was entranced by her words, and this experience will forever be emblazoned in my memory. Her inspiration will burn perpetually and vibrantly in my soul.
We need more people to stand up the way she did; fighting for what is right, and educating people on activism.