Angela Davis was born on this date in Birmingham, Alabama. The American socialist organizer and professor was associated with the Black Panther Party and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Davis was also a notable activist during the Civil Rights Movement, and a prominent member and political candidate of the Communist Party USA. In recent years, she no longer identifies as a Communist, but rather a democratic socialist, and is currently a member of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism.
She first achieved nationwide notoriety when a weapon registered in her name was linked to the murder of Judge Harold Haley during an effort to free a black convict who was being tried for the attempted retaliatory murder of a white prison guard who killed three unarmed black inmates. Davis fled underground and was the subject of an intense manhunt. Davis was eventually captured, arrested, tried, and then acquitted in one of the most famous trials in recent U.S. history.
Davis is currently a graduate studies Professor of History of Consciousness at the University of California and Presidential Chair at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She works for racial and gender equality and for Gay rights and prison abolition. She is a popular public speaker, nationally and internationally, as well as a founder of the grassroots prison-industrial complex-abolition organization Critical Resistance.