Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families


Happy Birthday Angela Davis

Angela Davis

Today we join others throughout the nation and world in acknowledging and celebrating Angela Davis' birthday.

Angela Davis remains one of the nation's, and indeed the world's, most consistent, passionate and outspoken critics of the prison industrial complex, and its contribution to mass incarceration, community violence and police brutality.

Below are but a few video resources that capture Davis' analysis and contribution. Explore more resources by and about Angela Davis - especially essays and books - via the Angela Davis Resource Guide via the Cornell University Library.

Excerpt from Angela Davis' bio posted at U.C. Santa Cruz:

Angela Y. Davis is known internationally for her ongoing work to combat all forms of oppression in the U.S. and abroad. Over the years she has been active as a student, teacher, writer, scholar, and activist/organizer. She is a living witness to the historical struggles of the contemporary era.

Professor Davis's political activism began when she was a youngster in Birmingham, Alabama, and continued through her high school years in New York. But it was not until 1969 that she came to national attention after being removed from her teaching position in the Philosophy Department at UCLA as a result of her social activism and her membership in the Communist Party, USA. In 1970 she was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List on false charges, and was the subject of an intense police search that drove her underground and culminated in one of the most famous trials in recent U.S. history. During her sixteen-month incarceration, a massive international "Free Angela Davis" campaign was organized, leading to her acquittal in 1972.

Professor Davis's long-standing commitment to prisoners' rights dates back to her involvement in the campaign to free the Soledad Brothers, which led to her own arrest and imprisonment. Today she remains an advocate of prison abolition and has developed a powerful critique of racism in the criminal justice system. She is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex.  Internationally, she is affiliated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Queensland, Australia that works in solidarity with women in prison.

Like many educators, Professor Davis is especially concerned with the general tendency to devote more resources and attention to the prison system than to educational institutions.  Having helped to popularize the notion of a “prison industrial complex,” she now urges her audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons and to help forge a 21st century abolitionist movement.


September 7, 2013
If You Want Peace, Fight for Justice
Community discussion held at The University of Chicago
(with panel discussion among Chicago activists and organizers)


September 19, 2013
Florida International University
5th Annual Eric E. Williams Memorial Lecture


February 16, 2013
The University of Chicago
Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture & Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality