Angela Yvonne Davis

Political Activist, Philosopher, Academic, Author

Bio:

Angela Davis is an activist, scholar and writer who advocates for the oppressed. She has authored several books, including 'Women, Culture & Politics.'

Angela Davis became a master scholar who studied at the Sorbonne. She joined the U.S. Communist Party and was jailed for charges related to a prison outbreak, though ultimately cleared. Known for books like Women, Race & Class, she has worked as a professor and activist who advocates gender equity, prison reform and alliances across color lines.

Davis was born on January 26, 1944, in Birmingham, Alabama. She grew up in a middle-class neighborhood dubbed "Dynamite Hill," due to many of the African American homes in the area that were bombed by the Ku Klux Klan. Davis' father, Frank, owned a service station, while her mother, Sallye, taught elementary school and was an active member of the NAACP. Sallye would later pursue her master's degree at NYU and Davis would accompany her there as a teenager.

Davis is best known as a radical African American educator and activist for civil rights and other social issues. She knew about racial prejudice from her experiences with discrimination growing up in Alabama. As a teenager, Davis organized interracial study groups, which were broken up by the police. She also knew some of the four African American girls killed in the Birmingham church bombing of 1963.

Education, The Black Panthers and Communism
Davis later moved north and went to Brandeis University in Massachusetts where she studied philosophy with Herbert Marcuse. As a graduate student at the University of California, San Diego, in the late 1960s, she was associated with several groups including the Black Panthers. But she spent most of her time working with the Che-Lumumba Club, which was an all-Black branch of the Communist Party.

Hired to teach at the University of California, Los Angeles, Davis ran into trouble with the school's administration because of her association with communism. They fired her, but she fought them in court and got her job back. Davis still ended up leaving when her contract expired in 1970.

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