Angela Davis

Angela Y. Davis is an internationally known activist who has worked 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. Her academic work focuses on Feminism, African American studies, critical theory, popular music culture and social consciousness, and philosophy of punishment (women's jails and prisons). Professor Davis's political activism began at a young age in Birmingham, Alabama, and continued through her high school years in New York where she was involved with both the CPUSA and the Black Panther Party. But it was not until 1969 that she garnered widespread media attention after being removed from her teaching position in the Philosophy Department at UCLA as a result of her membership in the Communist Party, USA. In 1970, she was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List on false charges and her subsequent sixteen-month incarceration, prompted a massive international "Free Angela Davis" campaign leading to her acquittal in 1972.

Professor Davis's enduring commitment to prisoners' rights dates back to her participation in the campaign to free the Soledad Brothers, which led to her own arrest and imprisonment. She is a founding member of Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex. She is also associated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Queensland, Australia working in solidarity with women in prison. 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.