Sunday, December 14, 2014

Out Spotlight

Today's Out Spotlight  is an American political activist, scholar, and author. She emerged as a prominent counterculture activist and radical in the 1960s as a leader of the Communist Party USA, and had close relations with the Black Panther Party through her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, although she was never a party member. Today's Out Spotlight is Angela Davis.
Angela Yvonne Davis was born in Birmingham, Alabama on January 26, 1944, and grew up under the oppression of Jim Crow laws. Her family lived in an integrated neighborhood plagued by racial conflict. Bombings by the Ku Klux Klan were so common that the neighborhood was called "Dynamite Hill." Davis was surrounded by political activism. Her mother was a civil rights campaigner and a member of the NAACP.
Davis was a precocious child who possessed an acute awareness of her social status as an African-American woman. By the age of fourteen, she had aligned herself with socialist and communist politics, joining the communist youth organization, Advance.
In 1962, Davis landed a full scholarship to Brandeis University, where she studied French and philosophy. In 1969, after receiving her master's degree from the University of California, San Diego and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany, Davis began teaching at the University of California, Los Angeles. UCLA terminated her position based on her involvement in the Communist Party USA. The university eventually reinstated her professorship following enormous pressure from national and international supporters.
In 1970, Davis was charged with conspiracy, kidnapping, and homicide after a shotgun registered in her name was used in a courthouse hostage shooting linked to the Black Panther Party. Fearing for her life, Davis went underground, becoming the third woman on the FBI's Most Wanted List. The Bureau eventually captured her. She was brought to trial in one of the most publicized criminal hearings of the century. In 1972, an all-white jury found Davis not guilty on all charges.

A revolutionary of unequivocal prowess, Davis has devoted her life to combating racism and sexism. Despite acrimonious attempts by the U.S. government to suppress her political influence, she has never wavered in her commitment towards global social justice.
Davis writes and lectures on gender and race issues and remains on the faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a co-founder of Critical Resistance, a national grass-roots organization addressing reform of the "prison-industrial complex."
 "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. "

1 comment:

Florida Tom said...

How lovely to hear Jake spent Thanksgiving with his nieces. Pretty sick if he has kids. Pretty messed up.