Angela Davis: “Political Activism and Protest from the 1960s to the Age of Obama”

Lifelong activist and current professor emerita at the University of California at Santa Cruz in the history of consciousness and feminist studies departments gave the 2013 Wearn lecture to a sold-out audience at the Duke Family Performance Hall.

Growing up in Birmingham, AL, Angela Davis credits her family for her ethics and drive to see social justice reformation with her focus on prisoners’ rights. The topics she covers in her lecture range from social justice and education for profit to her views on President Obama and a brief history of the Black Panthers and their reach worldwide to give voice to oppressed people.

An extremely gravitating speaker, Davis received applause throughout her talk when mentioning names and causes often overlooked in favor of bigger names and issues. Rosa Parks was not the first African American to refuse to sit at the back of the bus. Do you know who was?

An interesting moment came when an audience member asked her views on Abraham Lincoln, the president, the man, and the current movie. Davis broadens the scope of what the Emancipation Proclamation actually entailed.

In this world of causes, Angela Davis gives positive reinforcement to those that try: “You may not immediately see the effects of your efforts but one day, you will. If not, the next generation will. Keep doing what you are doing.”