BY WALTER OPINDE
On this day, 4th June, 1972, a civil rights activist, author, and scholar, Angela Davis was acquitted of all the charges she had at the court.
In October 1970, Angela was arrested in New York City in connection to the shootouts which took place on 7th August, 1970, in San Raphael, California, courtroom. She was accused of supplying weapons to Jonathan Jackson, a black man. Mr. Jackson had who attacked a courtroom in a bid to free all inmates on trial. He then took hostages whom he expected to release in exchange for his brother George, who was a black criminal imprisoned at San Quentin Prison. In their quest to secure the hostages and bring Jonathan to their custody, the police involved in a shootout, which left Jonathan Jackson dead, alongside the Superior Court Judge Haley Harold plus two inmates.
Angela, who had championed the cause of black prisoners and was a friend of Jackson, was indicted for the crime but hurriedly went into hiding. She then became one of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most wanted criminals and was apprehended two months later. Her trials began in March 1972, drawing international attention due to the political nature of the proceedings and weakness of the prosecution’s case. Many critics criticized the entire process, arguing in favor of Davis. As such, on 4th June, 1972, Angela was acquitted of all charges after the court found her innocent.
But, who is Angela Davis?
Angela Davis is an African-American civil rights activist, scholar, and author who advocates for the oppressed people of color in the U.S. She is an author of several books on the topics of politics, culture, race, and gender disparity.
Angela Davis was born on 26th January, 1944, in Birmingham, Alabama. She became a master scholar, who studied at the Sorbonne and later joined the U.S. Communist Party. She is famous for writing books such as the “Women, Race & Class,” besides working as a professor and civil rights activist who advocates for prison reforms, gender equality, as well as alliances with all people of color.
Angela emerged as a prominent and famous counterculture human rights activist and a radical leader during the 1960s, when she headed the Communist Party of the U.S.A. She also had very close relationship with the “Black Panther Party” as seen during her involvements in the Civil Rights Movements. She is retired professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who served in the “History of Consciousness Department.” As well, she is a former director of the Feminist Studies Department at the same university.
Angela Davis’s interests and focus, as revealed by her research works, were on the topics relating to the philosophies and history of punishment and prisons, the African-American culture and studies, social consciousness, feminism, Marxism, critical theories, as well as the popular music. As such, she, alongside other fellow activists, founded the Critical Resistance Group, an organization that works towards the abolition of the industrial- prison complex. Angela’s membership at the Communist Party USA, prompted the California Governor- Reagan Ronald, in 1969, to champion for her deterrence from teaching at any of the university within the State of California.
After spending her dedicated time lecturing and traveling, Angela Davis is today a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she lectures on the courses relating to the history of consciousness.
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