Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Angela Yvonne Davis

Angela Yvonne Davis

Angela Yvonne Davis (born, January 26, 1944 in Birmingham, Alabama) is an American socialist organizer and professor who was associated with the Black Panther Party (BPP) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Davis was also a prominent member and political candidate of the Communist Party USA. She first achieved nationwide notoriety when she was linked to the murder of Judge Harold Haley during an attempted Black Panther prison break; she fled underground, and was the subject of an intense manhunt. She was eventually captured, arrested, tried, and then acquitted in one of the most famous trial in recent U.S. history.

She is currently Professor of History of Consciousness at the University of California and Presidential Chair at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She works for racial and gender equality and for prison abolition, and is a popular public speaker, nationally and internationally. Davis is a founder of the anti-prison grassroots organization Critical Resistance.
Davis ran for Vice President on the Communist ticket in 1980 and 1984 along with Gus Hall. She has continued a career of activism, and has written several books. A principal focus of her current activism is the state of prisons within the United States.

She considers herself an abolitionist, not a "prison reformer," and refers to the United States prison system as the "prison-industrial complex." Her solutions include abolishing prisons and addressing the class, race, and gender factors that have led to large numbers of blacks and Latinos being incarcerated.
Davis was one of the primary founders of Critical Resistance, a national grassroots organization dedicated to building a movement to abolish the prison-industrial complex.

The first of the three tracks on Herbie Hancock's 1970 album Mwandishi pays tribute to Angela Davis. The track itself is titled Ostinato (Suite for Angela).
In 1972, John Lennon and Yoko Ono released the song "Angela" about her and the Rolling Stones released "Sweet Black Angel," both of which chronicled her legal problems and advocated for her release. The 1976 film Network features a parody of her in its character Laureen Hobbs.
In the 1987 Eddie Murphy film Raw, Murphy makes a reference to Angela Davis' afro.
An audio clip of Angela Davis is used in a song by underground Virginia rapper Dicap the Emcee.

The Swedish artist Turid starts the song "Visa om imperialismens taktik" with the words "Åh, Angela Davis, det var natt när dom hämtade dej..." (Oh, Angela Davis, they came for you in the night...)

During a Black History Month episode of the Proud Family, Penny Proud had to play the role of Angela Davis for her history project.

Davis appears in the 2006 documentary film "The U.S. Vs. John Lennon" in both the archive footage and in interview segments as Dr. Angela Davis.
Davis's presentation forms a major part of the book and video of the 1996 Feminist Family Values Forum presented by the Foundation for a Compassionate Society in Austin, Texas.

Angela Davis used her time in prison to help others. After the all the protesting she has done she is still known as a great leader. She speaks out against the death penalty in California, and 1995 Million Man March, arguing that the exclusion of women from this event necessarily promoted male chauvinism. In her teaching she encourage development of critical thinking than on imparting knowledge.

I didn’t know much about her as a high school student in the early 70’s everyone want a Angela Davis afro.

Bibliography Books
If They Come in the Morning: Voices of Resistance (1971)
Frame Up: The Opening Defense Statement Made (1972)
Angela Davis: An Autobiography (1974) Women, Race and Class (1981)
Violence Against Women and the Ongoing Challenge to Racism (1985)
Women, Culture and Politics (1989)
The Angela Y. Davis Reader (1999)
Are Prisons Obsolete? (2003)
Abolition Democracy: Beyond Prisons, Torture, and Empire (2005)


Melinda Scott

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