Angela Davis speaks at local colleges

Angela Davis

Angela Davis

Angela Davis, who was recently profiled here in the Nashville PRIDE on January 30, will be coming to Nashville on Thursday, February 26, to speak at two local colleges. Davis will address students at Fisk University first at 10 am before talking to a group at Vanderbilt University at 7 pm. Both talks are free and open to the public, with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Fisk University will host a ‘Conversation with Dr. Angela Y. Davis’ in the Fisk Memorial Chapel, beginning at 10 am on Thursday, Feb. 26. According to the university’s information: “Angela Davis, the widely recognized author, educator and activist, is professor emerita at the University of California- Santa Cruz, Feminist Studies Department. She is a living witness to the historical struggles of the contemporary era. Known internationally for her ongoing work to combat all forms of oppression in the U.S. and abroad, Dr. Davis is the founder of Critical Resistance, an organization committed to ending the ‘prison industrial complex.’

The event at Fisk, under the ethos ‘Leadership, Activism, Change!’ is sponsored in partnership with the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Development Division, and the Office of Academic Excellence and Student Performance (AESP) for Black History Month.

‘A Fireside Chat on Activism with Angela Davis’ is the title of the 7th annual Murray Lecture at Vanderbilt’s Langford Auditorium at 7 pm, also on Thursday, Feb. 26. Vanderbilt information about the event lists Dr. Davis as: professor of history of ‘consciousness and feminist studies,’ emerita at the University of California Santa Cruz, and as the author of Abolition Democracy and Are Prisons Obsolete?

The program at Vanderbilt is sponsored by the Martha Rivers Ingram Commons, the Black Student Association, the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center, the Dean of Students, SHADES, and the Carpenter Program.

Angela Davis, born January 26, 1944, in Birmingham, Alabama, 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. She also knew several of the young African American girls killed in the Birmingham church bombing of 1963. Davis later moved north and went to Brandeis University in Massachusetts where she studied philosophy under Herbert Marcuse. As a graduate student at the University of California, San Diego, in the late 1960s, she joined several groups, including the Black Panthers and an all-Black branch of the Communist Party. Davis became a strong supporter of three prison inmates of Soledad Prison known as the Soledad brothers, who were accused of killing a prison guard. During the trial in August 1970, an escape attempt was made and four people, including the judge, were killed. Davis was brought up on charges including aggravated kidnapping and first-degree murder for her alleged part in the event. After spending months in jail, Davis was acquitted in 1972. After spending time traveling and lecturing, Davis returned to teaching.