Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Revolutionary Of The Week

Angela Davis

Angela Davis was considered an American radical activist, associated with the Black Panther Party in the 60's & 70's. She worked for racial & gender equality & for prison abolition.

During her childhood she experienced racial discrimination, and was exposed & studied Socialism & Communism while attending a private school favored by the 'radical' community. She was later recruited to the Communist youth group, Advance. Angela was awarded a full scholarship to Brandeis University in Mass., where she was one of three black students in her freshman class. While there, she made friends with the foreign students, & decided to spend the summer in Europe, where she attended the 8th World Festival for Youth & Students. For that, she arrived home to an FBI interview about her attendance at the Festival. The goverment considered the Festival Communist sponsored.

Angela moved to Paris, France to study. She graduated, then moved to Germany to attend college there. She participated in the German Socialist Student League. But Angela was eager to get back to the U.S., where she joined the Black Panther movement. She earned her Master's degree at U.C. San Diego, returned to Germany for her Ph.D in Philosophy, then returned to the U.S. & worked as a teacher/lecturer at UCLA during the 60's.

Angela later became a 'radical' feminist & activist, as well as a member of the Communist Party USA. Because of this, she was fired from her job. But due to a community uproar, she was rehired.

In 1970 she became the 3rd woman to appear on the FBI's Most Wanted list when she was charged with conspiracy, kidnapping, & homocide due to her alleged participation in an escape attempt from Marin County Hall of Justice. It was alleged that she helped Jonathan Jackson, brother of the prison inmate, George Jackson, plan a kidnapping in order to secure the release of the elder Jackson. The kidnapping plan went awry, resulting in the deaths of a judge & 3 inmates, including Jonathan Jackson. Although Angela was not there, the shotgun that had killed the judge was registered in her name. She evaded police capture for 2 months before being caught. Angela was tried & acquitted of ALL charges 18 months after her capture.

While in prison, she helped mobilize prisoners to initiate a bail program for indigent prisoners. She was segregated from all prisoners, but with the help of her legal team, she obtained a court order to get her out of the segregated area.

Angela Davis has written several books, & she still lectures at colleges all around. She is currently the President Chair & Professor with the History of Consciousness Department at U.C. Santa Cruz, California, as well as the Director of the Feminist Studies Department.

Although no longer a member of the Communist Party, she points to Cuba as an example of a country that successfully addresses social/economic issues.

John Lennon & Yoko Ono, as well as The Rolling Stones, have released songs about Angela Davis. She continues to inspire many with her teachings, power & courage.

" Revolution is a serious thing, the most serious thing about a revolutionary's life. When one commits oneself to the struggle, it must be for a lifetime."---Angela Davis