Angela Davis Additional Biography


(Masterpieces of Women's Literature, Critical Edition)

Author Profile

Angela Davis was educated at an experimental high school in New York City, earned a B.A. from Brandeis University in French literature, and studied philosophy at the University of Frankfurt. A protégé of Marxist philosopher Herbert Marcuse, she has been a controversial figure since the 1960’s, advocating revolution and defending Black Power leaders. She has written a political autobiography, With My Mind on Freedom (1974), and edited a collection of writing by herself and other African American activists, If They Come in the Morning (1971). Her book Women, Race, and Class (1981) includes biographies of Communist women.


Aptheker, Bettina. The Morning Breaks: The Trial of Angela Davis. 2d ed. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1999. A chronicle of the trial that resulted from Davis’s association with the Soledad Brothers.

Davis, Angela. “Globalism and the Prison Industrial Complex: An Interview with Angela Davis.” Interview by Avery F. Gordon. Race and Class 40, nos. 2/3 (1998/1999): 145-157. Davis speaks about the prison system and the need for its reform.

Nadelson, Regina. Who Is Angela Davis? The Biography of a Revolutionary. New York: P. H. Wyden, 1972. Written by someone who attended high school with Davis and who began writing this biography when she learned that Davis had been fired from her teaching position at UCLA.

Perkins, Margo V. Autobiography as Activism: Three Black Women of the Sixties. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2000. Studies Davis’s autobiography as an essential element in her political activism


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Angela Yvonne Davis was raised in the integrated section of Birmingham, Alabama, that was known as Dynamite Hill. Both of her parents had attended college and become teachers, although her father left the teaching profession because he could make a better living running a service station. In Angela Davis: An Autobiography the author criticizes the “Booker T. Washington syndrome” that afflicted the educational system in the South, where African Americans were promised falsely that they would be rewarded for their work.

In order to escape the South, Davis passed up the opportunity of early admission at Fisk University, a historically African American university in Nashville, Tennessee. Instead, she chose to...

(The entire section is 940 words.)