In the month of February, people all over the country remember and celebrate those most influential to the black community. The prominent names you often hear are Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Thurgood Marshall, Harriet Tubman, etc.
But there are also names you don’t hear a whole lot about, even though they had just as much to do with black people having the near equal opportunity that we do have today.
One of them is Angela Davis.
Angela Yvonne Davis was born Jan. 26, 1944 in Birmingham, Alabama. She is a political activist, philosopher, professor and author.
Growing up in Alabama, a lot of Davis’ activism stems from her own personal experiences with segregation and unequal opportunity.
As a teenager she would form interracial study groups that would be invaded by the police. In 1963 when a Birmingham church was bombed, she knew four of the girls killed.
As a young adult she spent some time with the Black Panther Party; which was a revolutionary political organization. However, most of her dealings was with an all-black branch of the Communist Party, called Che-Lumumba Club. Her activism and involvement with revolutionary groups in the 1960s and 1970s landed Davis on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list. She was accused of murder and kidnapping but was later acquitted at trial.
Davis spent most of her childhood experiencing oppression. She has now dedicated her life to making sure other young black people don’t experience the same.
She has written books, she has won awards, she has spoken up and out about the “unbroken line of police violence in U.S. back to slavery.” She walks for women’s rights; she walks for the black lives that matter.
Davis said once in an interview with Essence Magazine, “We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society” … We are still mentally enslaved, and it shows in our community. If we are going to be free and prevail, then we need to break the mind chains and excel as citizens of this country.”