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Angela Davis

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Information about Angela Davis

Profile image of Angela Davis

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
History Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green, Purple
Favorite Food:
Scrambled Tofu
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Brisbane, Australia
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
1/26/1944
Birth Location:
Birmingham, Alabama

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
History Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Green, Purple
Favorite Food:
Scrambled Tofu
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Brisbane, Australia
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
1/26/1944
Birth Location:
Birmingham
See how Angela Davis is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Activist, author, and professor, Angela Davis was born in Birmingham, Alabama, on January 26, 1944, the daughter of two teachers. Active at an early age in the Black Panthers and the Communist Party, Davis also formed an interracial study group and volunteered for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee while still in high school. At fifteen, after earning a scholarship, Davis traveled to New York to complete high school. In 1960, Davis traveled to Germany to study for two years, and then to the University of Paris for another year. After returning to the United States, Davis attended Brandeis University, where she graduated magna cum laude in 1965. Davis then returned to Germany for further study before enrolling in the University of California, San Diego, where she earned her M.A. degree in 1968.

Upon earning her master's degree, Davis became an assistant professor at UCSD, but due to her connections with the Panthers and the Communist Party, she was removed a year later. Following her dismissal, Davis worked to free the Soledad Prison Brothers and befriended an inmate, George Jackson. In August of 1970, Jackson and several other inmates attempted to escape from the Marin County Courthouse, and a judge and three others were killed. Davis was quickly put on the FBI's most wanted list, despite the fact that she was not at the crime scene, and was apprehended in New York. After spending eighteen months in jail during her trial, Davis was acquitted in 1972. While in prison, Davis wrote her first book, If They Come in the Morning: Voices of Resistance, entirely by hand. After her acquittal, Governor Ronald Reagan vowed she would never teach in California again, but nevertheless, she was immediately hired by San Francisco State University, where she stayed for another twelve years. Entering the political ring, Davis ran on the Communist Party ticket as vice president in 1980 and 1984. When the Soviet Union began to fall apart, however, Davis gave up communism. Davis continued to teach in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Davis toured across the United States and the world lecturing on prison reform, and served on the advisory board of the Prison Activist Resource Center. Davis also co-founded the Committees of Correspondence, an organization that seeks to unite all socialist groups in the United States.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Angela Davis Slating
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Angela Davis Favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Angela Davis details her father's family history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Angela Davis remembers her father's service station in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Angela Davis details her father's youth
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Angela Davis recalls her paternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Angela Davis describes her childhood summers in Marengo County, Alabama
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Angela Davis shares stories of her mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Angela Davis shares her earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Angela Davis details how her family moved from the Birmingham projects
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Angela Davis recalls family tragedies
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Angela Davis remembers the joys of her youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Angela Davis reminisces about the sounds of Birmingham during her youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Angela Davis describes her family life
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Angela Davis recalls a childhood trip to New York with family friends
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Angela Davis details her immersion in black history as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Angela Davis comments on the role of black publications in portaying positive black culture
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Angela Davis describes the nuturing intellectual atmoshere created by her mother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Angela Davis details herbusy extracurricular schedule as a child
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Angela Davis recalls a shift in her scholarly interests
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Angela Davis explains her early interest in becoming a physician
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Angela Davis describes her initial plans to attend Fisk University and Meharry Medical College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Angela Davis discusses her parents resistance to her attending school in New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Angela Davis details her mother's involvement with church organizations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Angels Davis remembers her father's act of support
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Angela Davis describes her school and social life in New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Angela Davis recalls her social discomfort in being a representative of black southerners
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Angela Davis details the goal of the Quaker school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Angela Davis describes her high school years at Elizabeth Irwin High School/Little Red Schoolhouse
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Angela Davis remembers her New York homestay family, the Melishes
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Angela Davis discusses the travails the Melish family endured
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Angela Davis discusses the pivotal role her exposure to the "Communist Manifesto' had upon her political thought
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Angela Davis recalls the easy-going lifestyle of 1960s New York City
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Angela Davis describes the culture shock upon her return to Birmingham
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Angela Davis compares her life in Brimingham and New York City
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Angela Davis reveals a secret passion for exploring ideas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Angela Davis describes her favorite French philosophers
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Angela Davis reveals her reasoning behind attending Brandeis University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Angela Davis decides to major in French at Brandeis University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Angela Davis - Slating
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Angela Davis remembers her undergraduate years at Brandeis University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Angela Davis recalls hearing Malcolm X speak at Brandeis University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Angela Davis describes the small black student population at Brandeis University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Angela Davis compares and contrasts her southern roots and Northern educational experiences
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Angela Davis discusses her relationship with her parents during her college years
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Angela Davis recalls spending a summer abroad in Europe
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Angela Davis discusses her growing interest in philosophy and mentorship by Herbert Marcuse
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Angela Davis continues her reminiscence of Herbert Marcuse and studying philosophy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Angela Davis reveals the influence of great philosophers on her world view
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Angela Davis reveals how philosophy impacted her descision to makea difference in the social world
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Angela Davis prepares to graduate from Brandeis University in 1965
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Angela Davis shares some final thoughts about her Brandeis experience
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Angela Davis remembers the horrors of the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing and the assasination of President Kennedy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Angela Davis returns from her junior year abroad to a different Birmingham
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Angela Davis recalls listening to Martin Luther King speak about Vietnam
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Angela Davis has final thoughts on her college summers
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Angela Davis begins connecting her philosophical studies with radical activism while studying in Germany
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Angela Davis meets Stokely Carmichael in Germany
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Angela Davis moves back to the United States
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Angela Davis recalls the academic persecution of Herbert Marcuse, her mentor
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Angela Davis moves to San Diego to continue her studies
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Angela Davis remembers some black students she met in San Diego
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Angela Davis discusses how she initiaaly became aware of the Black Panther Political Party
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Angela Davis talks about the volatile conditions in Los Angeles after Martin Luther King's assassination
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Angela Davis details the gender battles within the L.A. SNCC office
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Angela Davis continues describing her involvement in SNCC and how she joined the Black Panther Party
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Angela Davis recalls how her involvement with the Black Panthers eventually led her to teaching
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Angela Davis details the major players in the Los Angeles Black Panther Party
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Angela Davis details the triumphs and failures of the Black Panther movement
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Angela Davis continues with her assessment of the Black Panther Movement
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Angela Davis talks about the gangsterism that destoryed the BLack Panther Party
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Angela Davis reflects on the government infiltration of the Black Panther movement
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Angela Davis decides to join the Communist Party of Los Angeles California
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Angela Davis details her involvement in the Communist Party
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Angela Davis remembers her first academic appointment at UCLA
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Angela Davis recalls the controversy surrounding her teaching appointment at UCLA
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Angela Davis discusses her involvement with the Soledad Brothers
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Angela Davis continues with her recollections of the Soledad Borthers
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Angela Davis recounts her tenure at UCLA while becoming a prominent activist
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Angela Davis details the failed attempt to free George Jackson by his teeange brother
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Angela Davis goes on the run after the Marin County Courthouse shooting
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Angela Davis is on the run and underground in Chicago
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Angela Davis' life on the run comes to an end in New York
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Angela Davis is taken into custody
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Angela Davis contemplated escaping abroad
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Angela Davis describes the arrest by the FBI in New York
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Angela Davis recalls her incarceration and the subsequent legal wrangling
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Angela Davis remembers her lifelong friend and staunch attorney, Margaret Burnham
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Angela Davis discusses her defense teams and their preparation for her trial
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Angela Davis serves as her own co-counsel and is acquitted