We continue to highlight the achievements and foundational work of many historical figures for Black History Month, especially those connected to anti-oppression work. We will now look at the contributions of Angela Davis.
Angela Davis is a political activist, author, and professor. She was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1944. Angela experienced racism at a very young age. Birmingham was one of the most segregated cities in the country. Her neighborhood was nicknamed “Dynamite Hill” because of how often the Klu Klux Klan targeted the homes. Angela believed that capitalism and racism were dangerous for America. Angela joined the Black Panthers which was created to unify Black people. The Black Panthers fought against police brutality against the African American community. One of the Black Panthers’ many achievements is that they helped provide medical clinics and free breakfast to children. Angela fought for economic, racial, and gender equality. She came out as being lesbian and fought to tackle the oppression for the LGBTQ community. While Angela did spend 18 months in jail, she was able to understand how mistreated women were in jail. Musician John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono recorded a song about her called “Angela.” She has published nine books. A couple of her books are Women, Race, and Class; Are Prisons Obsolete?; Women, Culture and Politics; and Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and The Foundations of a Movement. She also spent time lecturing around the world, including Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America.
Watch John Lennon’s and Yoko Ono’s song Angela:
To learn more about important Black History Month and important historical figures please see the attached resources.
- Angela Davis, History.com
- Angela Davis, National Museum of African American History and Culture
- Life Story: Angela Davis (1944- ), NYHistory.org
Written by Denisse Ochoa, BA Sociology Candidate at University of Wisconsin-Parkside, ZCenter Outreach Intern
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