Primarily known as a political activist, Angela Davis began writing as a result of her activities within the Black Liberation movement of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Her work consistently explores the destructive influences of racism, sexism, and economic inequality on the development of African Americans, women, and the poor. Davis felt the full impact of racism beginning with her childhood, having been born and raised in segregated Birmingham. The racial inequality that prevailed particularly in the American South did much to shape her consciousness as an African American. In her autobiography, for example, she expresses her determination as a child to “never harbor or express the desire to be white” in spite of the fact that most whites lived what in comparison to hers was a privileged life.
Davis attended Elizabeth Irwin High School in New York. She studied philosophy at Brandeis University, the Sorbonne in Paris, the University of Frankfurt, and the University of California at San Diego. In 1968, she officially joined the Communist Party, having concluded that “the emancipation of all oppressed groups” could be achieved through the emancipation of the proletariat.
As a result of her membership in the Communist Party, the Board of Regents of the University of California fired Davis from her teaching position at UCLA in 1969; she was reinstated after a trial. Charged with murder and kidnapping in connection with an...
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