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Civil rights and Black power activist Angela Davis spoke at Florida A&M University last week in honor of Women’s History Month.

In her talk, Davis focused on the culture of violence and the prison system, arguing that violence is epidemic in part because our society doesn’t treat its root causes.

“We don’t talk about prevention,” said Davis . “We talk about getting the perpetrator.”


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“[Criminals] can stay in prison forever but the problem still proliferates,” Davis said. “We participate in hiding it and it will erupt.”

Commenting that violence continues within the jail system, she added: “Men get punished by the state in prison. Women get punished at home…  Violence starts within the home.”

Davis said that violence within the family is covered up especially when it comes to incest and sex offenders.

“There are some sex offenders who are not included on the registry list,” referring specifically to perpetrators of incest. “So much violence we encounter is in the family. ” By not addressing violence within the family, Davis continued, “it reinforces that danger comes from a stranger.”

Violence within the home spreads out to the workforce, Davis said. “Look at the other modes of violence in police, military, and prisons. We have to find out how to address it. It will not be resolve by sending them to prisons. ”

Davis added: “This is an argument for prison abolition… prison abolition is the next abolition. A world without violence, violence against black boys, intimate violence and state violence.”


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