Black women have been standing at the front of the social justice movement for decades, from the civil rights movement to the ongoing fight for women’s equality. Black women have fearlessly raised their voices and put their lives on the line to build a bright future for the next generation of changemakers and leaders. Despite facing multiple forms of oppression and marginalization, Black women have led and participated in some of the most historic movements for liberation and justice.
Look no further than Angela Davis, a scholar, activist and author, who has been an influential figure in the social justice movement for over five decades.
Born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1944, Davis grew up in a family of civil rights activists and experienced racism and segregation firsthand. She became involved in political activism while attending college in the 1960s and was a member of the Black Panther Party and the Communist Party.
Davis was also involved in the Civil Rights Movement, the Black Power Movement and was a leader in the fight against racism, sexism and economic injustice. She is perhaps best known for her advocacy work against mass incarceration and her calls for prison abolition.
The social justice titan has written several books on race, gender and activism, including Women, Race, and Class and Are Prisons Obsolete?
Davis has also been the subject of controversy throughout her career. In 1970, she was charged with conspiracy in connection to a shootout that occurred in a California courtroom, according to History. She was accused of supplying weapons to Jonathan Jackson, who ran into the courtroom and freed a number of inmates during the incident.
After a highly publicized trial, she was acquitted of all charges. Davis continues to be a leading voice in the fight for social justice today and has received numerous awards and honors for her activism and scholarship.
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