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Black Activists - Angela Davis

Updated on February 8, 2012

Angela Davis was born January 26, 1944 in Birmingham, Alabama. Davis is best known as an educator, an author, an activist and a revolutionary woman. From a young age Davis has been involved in activism beginning with her involvement with the Communist movement. As Davis became more educated and worldly her affiliations grew and she continued to fight for the rights of those in need.


Angela Davis has written several books. Some of her books include Angela Davis: An Autobiography, Women, Race, and Class and Are Prisons Obsolete?. Davis’ books are a reflection and an extension of the discrimination that she has been fighting against and the world she is trying to attain.


Angela Davis attended Brandeis University where she was one of three black students in her freshman class. While attaining her education abroad Davis learned of the Birmingham church bombing by the KKK and was deeply and directly affected since she was acquainted with the young victims. For her graduate work in philosophy Davis attended the University of Frankfurt where she graduated magna cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Davis returned to the United States where she was an assistant professor as well as a radical feminist, activist, a member of the Communist Party and associated with the Black Panther Party. Because of her affiliations Davis was fired from her position at University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Davis fought UCLA in court and won her job back. Angela Davis was most recently a professor at theUniversity ofCalifornia at Santa Cruz (UCSC).Davis has lectured at many universities such as Syracuse University, San Francisco University, Bryn Mawr College, Stanford University and Brown University. Davis interests include social consciousness, philosophy, history, African American studies and feminism. When Davis teaches she poses questions that encourage critical thinking.


Angela Davis grew up surrounded by communist organizers and thinkers who significantly influenced her intellectual development growing up. Angela Davis was associated with the Communist Party, the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Panther Party. Davis was also interested in prisoner rights creating an organization to abolish the prison-industrial complex. Davis’ involvement in and associations with different groups has caused her a few hardships such as losing her professor position. Davis’ work with prison rights and association with the Soledad brothers’ made her a suspect in the abduction and murder of a judge. Davis was tried and acquitted of the crime after spending a little over a year in jail. Before her arrest Davis was the third woman to appear on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive List. Twice Davis was a candidate for Vice President on the Communist Party ticket. Angela Davis continues to be an activist fighting for the rights of others.

Angela Davis is an incredible woman who has been through so much. Davis has always been strong in her beliefs and firm in her stance. Davis is far more than an activist and an educator she is a revolutionary woman. This is evident in so many aspects of her life. From being listed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive List to the many songs that were written specifically for her by the likes of John LennonandYoko Onoand The Rolling Stones to name a few. Angela Davis has left quite an impression and continues to do so today.


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