Angela Davis is an iconic activist, educator, author, and advocate for human rights. Her lifelong career as a provocateur for the impoverished sheds light on the reality of the disenfranchised communities and people. Angela is outspoken, revered and reviled for her unwavering commitment to standing up for the liberties of every man, woman, immigrant, and child whose voice is deemed insignificant, and are often relegated to sit down.
As a black woman born in Birmingham, Alabama, she learned firsthand the nuances and inconsistencies of racism, yet her inner strength, continual support, and promotion of grass-roots efforts as a means to exact change were intuitively passed down from her familial experiences and observations. She grew up in an area known as Dynamite Hill, named so because of rampant home bombings by the Ku Klux Klan. The ever-present lynching’s of blacks shaded the trees like leaves and although her family was not victimized in this manner, the horrific after effects of the violent and intimidating methods used to incite fear left an indelible impression in her mind. Her parents never wavered; they were a role model for justice and equality. Angela is innately aware of racism in American history and the relevance of keeping it active – and she is also aware that speaking up for all people and working towards eradication is the key to our expansion the world.
However; there are a few misconceptions about what Angela’s journey was about:
- Every action does not require an equal or greater reaction.
- Every protest is not a call for violence: it’s a call to action and not an attempt to overthrow the government nor a dismissal of one’s country.
- Being ‘pro-black’ or being ‘conscious’ of your identity is not an affront to your manhood or mean ‘anti-white’.
- The ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement does not mean that all (other) lives do not matter.
- The advancement of the African-American community is not designed to hold you back.
- We all bleed red and have the same hopes, dreams, and fears for ourselves and our children.
- Her protests (as are all others) are designed to turn the mirror on society, and exact change.
- Despite the many advancements of African-Americans, racism continues to exist – institutional, financial, economic, and educational (there are more examples (yes, we have had an African-American president, and there’s Oprah Winfrey – and although they are not an anomaly, they too were victims of overt and covert racism).
- Women are vital to the global economy, so equal pay, child care, and reproductive rights are vital to the growth of the American economy and its reputation abroad.
- Public assistance, poverty, crime is not mutually inclusive to African-American.
At the age of 72, Angela continues her fight to protect those who are marginalized because of their race, gender, economic standing, or sexuality. She is a strong believer in empowering and enlightening and she continues to share with the world that black pride and power did and does not mean deference to white but a call for peace and self-actualization.
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