LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Activist, author, professor, and 2019 inductee into the Women’s Hall of Fame, Angela Davis was born in Birmingham, Ala., in 1944. Active at an early age in the Black Panthers and the Communist Party, Davis also formed an interracial study group and volunteered for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee while still in high school.
Davis became an assistant professor at UCSD, but her connections with the Panthers and the Communist Party led to her removal. Davis worked to free the Soledad Prison Brothers and befriended an inmate, George Jackson. In August of 1970, Jackson and several other inmates attempted to escape from the Marin County Courthouse, and a judge and three others were killed. Davis was quickly put on the FBI’s most wanted list, despite the fact that she was not at the crime scene, and was apprehended in New York.
After spending eighteen months in jail during her trial, Davis was acquitted in 1972. While in prison, Davis wrote her first book, “If They Come in the Morning: Voices of Resistance,” entirely by hand. She was later hired by San Francisco State University, where she stayed for another twelve years.
Davis toured across the United States and the world lecturing on prison reform, and served on the advisory board of the Prison Activist Resource Center. Davis also co-founded the Committees of Correspondence, an organization that seeks to unite all socialist groups in the United States.
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