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Angela Davis

Philosopher and Activist

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Angela Davis 1969

Angela Davis 1969

Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Angela Davis Poster by George Stowe Jr

Angela Davis Poster by George Stowe Jr

Photo by John D. Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive/Getty Images

Angela Davis Facts

Known for: Radical activist associated with the Black Panthers in the 1960s-1970s.
Dates: January 26, 1944 -
Occupation: activist, educator, philosopher
Also known as: Angela Yvonne Davis

Angela Davis Biography

Angela Davis, radical black activist and philosopher, was arrested as a suspected conspirator in the abortive attempt to free George Jackson from a courtroom in Marin County, California, August 7, 1970. The guns used were registered in her name. Angela Davis was eventually acquitted of all charges, but was briefly on the FBI's most-wanted list as she fled from arrest.

Angela Davis is often associated with the Black Panthers and with the black power politics of the late 1960s and early 1970s. She joined the Communist Party when Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968. She was active with SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) before the Black Panthers. Angela Davis ran for U.S. Vice President on the Communist Party ticket in 1980.

Angela Davis has been an activist and writer promoting women's rights and racial justice while pursuing her career as a philosopher and teacher at the University of Santa Cruz and San Francisco University -- she achieved tenure at the University of California at Santa Cruz though former governer Ronald Reagan swore she would never teach again in the University of California system. She studied with political philosopher Herbert Marcuse. She has published on race, class, and gender (see below).

Angela Davis - Elsewhere on the Web:

  • Liberation News Service: "Angela"
    A 1960s independent news service reports on the arrest and jailing of Angela Davis, "the third woman in history to appear on the FBI's most wanted list."
  • More on Angela Davis
    From The New York Times archive, some editorials, a first chapter from one of her books, a review of that book and news articles. (Site requires registration to access this material.)

Books by and About Angela Davis

  • David, Angela. Prison Industrial Complex. Spoken Word CD.
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  • Davis, Angela. If They Come in the Morning. 1971.
  • Davis, Angela Y. Violence Against Women and the Ongoing Challenge to Racism.
  • Davis, Angela Y. Women, Race and Class. 1983.
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  • Davis, Angela Yvonne. Angela Davis: An Autobiography. 1989.
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  • Davis, Angela. Women, Culture and Politics. 1990.
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  • Davis, Angela Yvonne and Joy James. The Angela Y. Davis Reader. Joy James, editor. 1998.
  • Davis, Angela Y. Are Prisons Obsolete? 2003.
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  • Aptheker, Bettina. The Morning Breaks: The Trial of Angela Davis. 1999.
  • Timothy, Mary. Jury Woman: The Story of the Trial of Angela Y. Davis.

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