Angela Davis

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Angela Davis


Angela Y. Davis serves on the Advisory Board[1] of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism and[2]on the Advisory Board of the Rosenberg Fund for Children.

Early fame

Davis came to national attention in 1969 when she was removed from her teaching position at UCLA as a result of her social activism and her membership in the Communist Party USA. In 1970, she was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List on charges of murder, kidnapping and conspiracy. During her 16-month incarceration, a massive international Free Angela Davis campaign was organized, leading to her acquittal in 1972.

National Anti-Imperialist Conference in Solidarity With African Liberation

Angela Davis, Co-Chairperson of National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression was named as a sponsor of the Communist Party USA dominated National Anti-Imperialist Conference in Solidarity With African Liberation held at Dunbar Vocational High School, Martin Luther King Drive, Chicago, October 19 to 21 1973.[3]

We Will Make Peace Prevail!

On March 28, 1982 the New World Review organized a gala luncheon "We Will Make Peace Prevail! Disarmament Over Confrontation, Life Over Death", at the Grand Ballroom, Hotel Roosevelt, New York City. Virtually all participants were identified as Communist Party USA.

Angela Davis was listed on the Committee of Sponsors.[4]

National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression

The 10th Anniversary Conference of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression was held in Chicago, May 13-15 1983 at the McCormick Inn - Featured speakers included Angela Davis[5]

Greeting Chris Hani

Eight hundred people filled the ballroom of the Hyatt regency Embarcadero Hotel, Sunday April 28, 1991 to greet South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani. the crowd contributed more than $12,000 towards the People's Weekly World fund drive and the work of the South African Communist Party.

Hani was greeted with resolutions of support from Assembly speaker Willie Brown, San Francisco mayor Art Agnos, Oakland mayor Elihu Harris, Richmond mayor George Livingston, Berkeley mayor Loni Hancock, and Doris Ward, chair of the San Francisco board of Supervisors.

Co-chairs of the banquet were were Angela Davis and Ignacio de la Fuente of the Moulders Union.

Davis, introducing Hani said he "symbolizes a courageous, unrelenting struggle for freedom".[6]

Communist Party reformer

In 1991, Angela Davis was one of several hundred Communist Party USA members to sign the a paper "An initiative to Unite and Renew the Party" - most signatories left the Party after the December 1991 conference to found Committees of Correspondence.[7]

CoC National Conference endorser

In 1992 Angela Davis, endorsed the Committees of Correspondence national conference Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s held at Berkeley California July 17-19.[8]

Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s

The Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s was the Committees of Correspondence's first national conference held in Berkeley, California July 17-19, 1992.[9]

Workshops that were held at the conference on Saturday, July 18 included:[10]

Women The women's movement: a critical factor in the economic, political and social life of the U.S. today. What should be the theoretical and practical response of the left?

CoC National Coordinating Committee

The following are listed in order of votes they received as members of the Committees of Correspondence National Coordinating Committee, elected at the Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s held at Berkeley California July 17-19, 1992:[10]

In 1994 Angela Davis was a member of the National Coordinating Committee of the Committees of Correspondence.[11]

"Making Trouble"

'Making Trouble- Building a Radical Youth Movement' was held April 17-19, 1998 Berkeley, California.

"Making Trouble" is a conference for young radicals from all over California to meet, form coalitions, and get informed. We will focus on the Prison Industrial Complex and the contemporary Labor Movement, but there will also be workshops on Environmental Justice, the Unz initiative, Art and Revolution, Immigration, Third World Organizing, Economic Globalization, Affirmative Action, Reproductive Rights, and much more.

Keynote Speaker: Barbara Ehrenreich

Invited speakers included;[12]

Black Radical Congress

In March 1998 “Endorsers of the Call” to found a Black Radical Congress included Angela Davis, Professor, University of California at Santa Cruz, Committees of Correspondence[13].

At the June 1998 Black Radical Congress in Chicago, militants of an older generation were assigned to work with younger comrades.

On Friday evening there was an inter-generational dialogue which was an attempt to blend an historical and contemporary review of the Black liberation struggle by means of older and younger activists interviewing one another.

Veteran activists Kathleen Cleaver, General Baker, Barbara Smith, Ahmed Rahman, Angela Davis and Nelson Peery were "paired up with younger activists" Van Jones, Kim Diehl, Kim Springer, Fanon Che Wilkins, Kashim Funny, and Quraysh Ali Lansana, respectively[14].

Communist "Manifestivity"

On October 30 and 31, 1998 the Brecht Forum presented the "Communist Manifestivity to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Communist Manifesto" at Cooper Union's Great Hall, New York.

Individual endorsers of the event included Angela Davis.[15]

Committees of Correspondence Conference 2002

At the Committees of Correspondence National Conference and Convention, July 25-28, 2002 San Francisco State University, the Plenary Panel and Discussion on War, Peace and Democracy consisted of;

Elaine Hagopian, Leslie Cagan, Rhonda Ramiro, Angela Davis September 11 and Bush’s “war on terrorism.” Response to increased militarism, Ashcroft’s attack on civil liberties, the role of the United Nations and other international bodies.[16]

Sacramento Marxist School

On March 14 2003 Angela Davis lectured at the Sacramento Marxist School on The Politics of Women, Race, and Class in the 21st Century.[17]

Women of Color Resource Center

In 2006 the Women of Color Resource Center Board of Directors included[18]Caroline Acuna-Guilartes, Linda Burnham, Jung Hee Choi, Angela Davis, Derethia DuVal, Chris Lymbertos, Genevieve Negron-Gonzales, Margo Okazawa-Rey and Cindy Wiesner.

In 2009 the Oakland California based Women of Color Resource Center Board of Directors[19] included Caroline Acuna, Jung Hee Choi, Angela Davis, Elmira Nazombe, Genevieve Negron-Gonzales, Malaika Parker, Alex Vazquez, Mei-ying Williams

2006 CCDS Convention

Angela Davis addressed the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism 5th National Convention, July 21-23, 2006.

Organizing youth in communities and schools.[20]

Symposium on James and Esther Jackson

On October 28, 2006, an event entitled "James and Esther Jackson, the American Left and the Origins of the Modern Civil Rights Movement" was held at the Tamiment Library of New York University. Three panels of academics and activists delivered papers illuminating the lives of the James Jackson and his wife Esther Jackson, their co-workers and the struggles in which they participated that helped shape developments in the United States from the late 1930s to the present. Angela Davis, David Levering Lewis, Percy Sutton, Pete Seeger, Michael Nash, Jean Carey Bond, Michael Anderson, Maurice Jackson and Charlene Mitchell delivered papers and spoke at the event. Sam Webb, Debbie Amis Bell and Daniel Rubin were among the estimated 250 individuals who attended the event.[21]

MDS Board member

On February 17, 2007, the Movement for a Democratic Society held a well attended conference[22]at New York City’s New School University.

The business portion of the meeting followed with each board nominee introducing themselves to the conference. The board, a very diverse group, was voted in by acclamation... Board nominees where were not able to attend the conference were included in the appointment by acclamation. The list included Elliott Adams, Panama Vicente Alba, Tariq Ali, Stanley Aronowitz, David Barsamian, Rosalyn Baxandall, John Bracey, Jr., John Brittain, Robb Burlage, Noam Chomsky, Jayne Cortez, Carl Davidson, Angela Davis, Bernardine Dohrn, Barbara Epstein, Gustavo Esteva, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Stephen Fleischman, Bill Fletcher Jr, Tom Hayden, Gerald Horne, Florence Howe, Mike James, Robin D G Kelley, Alice Kessler Harris, Rashid Khalidi, Mike Klonsky, Betita Martinez, Ethelbert Miller, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Barbara Ransby, Patricia Rose, Michael Rossman, Studs Terkel, Charlene Teters, Jerry Tucker, Immanuel Wallerstein, Cornel West, Leonard Weinglass and Howard Zinn.

WIDF affiliated United States "Regional Workshops"

Circa 2007 these people were members of the US "Regional Workshop" of the former Soviet front Women's International Democratic Federation;[23]

  • EEUU, Angela Davis - History of Consciousness Dep Humanities Division
  • LUZ DE LAS NIEVES AYRESS MORENO, Nieves Ayress - nacionalidad chilena

The Black Scholar

Davis was a contributor to The Black Scholar.[24]

Relationship to Joe Walker

During his life, long time Communist Party USA associate Joe Walker enjoyed professional and personal relationships with a number of dignitaries, civil rights activists, and freedom fighters to include Martin Luther King, Jr., Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. James Baldwin, Hulan Jack and David Dinkins, the former Mayor of New York City[25].

Chicano movement

The 40th Anniversary Commemoration Committee of the Chicano Moratoriums was formed in the summer 2009 by the Chair of the National Chicano Moratorium Committee of August 29, 1970 along with two independent Chicano Movement historians whom although not of the baby boomer generation, have become inspired by the Movimiento.

The organization posted a list of significant “Chicano movement” activists on its website which included Angela Davis, of the University of California, Los Angeles.[26]

National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression event

On April 18 2009 the Chicago branch of National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, a front first for the Communist Party USA, latterly for the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, awarded former Reverend Jeremiah Wright its highest honour.

According to a report from the Communist Party USA's People's Weekly World[27].

Human Rights awards were granted to honorees at the event whose work includes ending the death penalty, overturning wrongful convictions, the fight against racism and efforts to help victims of the prison industrial complex.

Angela Davis was keynote speaker-she spoke largely about Barack Obama[28];

“The election of Obama was a millennium transformation, and we’re in a new historical conjunction in 2009,” noted Davis. “In a short period of time so much has changed,” she said.
Given the current economy there is a very serious crisis erupting in the capitalist system, said Davis. “Many assume Obama is going to save capitalism, but a lot of us here have other ideas about changing the system,” said Davis.

Witness Against Torture

Davis was listed as affiliated with Witness Against Torture and fasting to protest torture, as of March 25, 2010.[29]

Carlos, Thomas and Davis support the Occupy movement

Former Olympic bronze-medal winner Dr. John Carlos spoke alongside civil rights activists Clarence Thomas and Dr. Angela Davis before an electrified crowd at Laney College, Oakland, Wednesday November, 30, 2011. His appearance at the college was part of a national tour to promote his new memoir.

In the summer of 1968 Carlos helped define a generation when he and fellow medalist Tommie Smith both gave a black power salute while on the Olympic podium in Mexico City.

The fist-raising track star’s memoir, “The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment that Changed the World,” has a powerful and simple message: don’t be afraid “of offending your oppressor.”

Civil rights heroes Clarence Thomas and Dr. Angela Davis of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense also spoke.

These three veteran activists had plenty to say about the lessons they learned during the ‘60s, but they were equally interested in discussing the promise of today’s Occupy movement.

Carlos has been making it a point to visit every Occupy encampment he can during his book tour around the country.

“I am here for you,” Carlos said to a crowd of thousands at Occupy Wall Street in early November. “Why? Because I am you. We’re here 43 years later because there’s a fight still to be won. This day is not for us but for our children-to-come.”

Thomas was a leader in the SF State Black Student Union and the Third World Liberation Front in 1968, helping to organize the longest student strike in American history.

“This was a strike to challenge the idea that Black people and people of color cannot learn, and that we are not capable of engaging in a prolonged struggle,” Thomas said. “I learned we could challenge the system and win. Those on the left need to learn to produce winners, and that is what is happening in the Occupy struggle.”

A third-generation longshoreman, Thomas, along with the International Longshoreman Workers Union recently played a critical role in supporting Occupy Oakland.

On Nov. 2, as tens of thousands of people marched in solidarity with the Occupy movement down to the Port of Oakland, rank-and-file ILWU members refused to cross the community picket line, effectively shutting down the port.

“The thing that makes Occupy Oakland different than other parts of the country is that we had an action with labor at the point of production,” Thomas said. “That port is one of the best examples of the power of Wall Street and American Capitalism, but when action was taken you can bet Wal-Mart was surprised; the whole Pacific Rim was affected.”

The ILWU is continuing to support the Occupy Oakland movement, which has faced escalating police repression in recent weeks. They have invited supporters from Vancouver to San Diego to march on their respective ports on Dec. 12 in an effort to shut down the entire West Coast shipping system.

“If we really want to challenge the one percent, the only thing they really understand is when you hit them in the pocket book,” said Thomas. “Working people have been told we have no power, but can you imagine if longshoremen, supported by their communities on the West and East Coasts and the Gulf, and Teamsters and airport workers all shut it down?”

“I am so proud of Oakland!” said Angela Davis, a well-known political activist, author, scholar and prison-system critic. “I spoke at Occupy Philly, Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Berlin, and everyone is talking about Oakland!”

In the ‘60s Davis was an active member of the Black Panthers and the Communist Party USA.

“I look at the young people who are involved in the Occupy movement, and it allows me to understand that the work we did was so important,” said Davis. “Imagine what the world would be like without these obscene capitalists, the one percent. Revolution is still on the agenda.”[30]

Henry Winston's centenary celebration

A standing room only crowd gathered in Winston Unity Center, New York, on the occasion of Henry Winston's centenary celebration. Winston, who was born in 1912, was the national chairman of the Communist Party for two decades until his death in 1986.

The multi-media celebration of this great African American leader included speeches, music, slideshow and greetings from former coworkers and friends - including one from New York Congressman Charles Rangel. It was streamed live to a national audience and hosted by Judith LeBlanc, the national field director of Peace Action.

Noted scholar and political activist Angela Davis brought the multi-racial audience to its feet in her moving tribute to Winston

Davis said, " [Winston] was a constant inspiration to me, especially when it came to garnering the courage to stand up to attacks I had never imagined would be directed individually at me."

Winston was also a political prisoner, unjustly imprisoned in the McCarthy era where he lost his fight due to poor medical care while there.

Davis went on to speak of Winston's "enduring opposition to corporate capitalism, militarism and racism."

While the Obama administration, she noted, wasn't immune from criticism, the election of the president had created a political climate for labor and social justice activism since 2008.[31]

Detroit gathering

A standing room only crowd of nearly 2,000 people welcomed Angela Davis, October 24, 2012, to Detroit to celebrate the 40th anniversary of her acquittal on charges of murder, kidnapping and conspiracy. The event, held at Fellowship Chapel on the city's northwest side, was a "powerful demonstration of the respect and affection Detroiters have for Professor Davis and her history of struggle for economic, racial and gender justice."

The program included Fellowship Pastor Wendell Anthony, Congressman John Conyers, Detroit City Councilperson JoAnn Watson, Metro Detroit AFL-CIO President Chris Michalakis, Retired Wayne County Circuit Court Judge and civil rights activist Claudia Morcom, Metro AFL-CIO Civil Rights Committee Chair Michele Artt and UAW Vice-President Cindy Estrada.

Prof. Davis rose to speak to a standing ovation from the audience. She recalled the rally at the fairgrounds and coming to Detroit many times in her role as a co-chairperson of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression and for events such as the rally to save the Dodge Main plant in 1979. Her address was wide-ranging but emphasized the importance of the upcoming election. "As we go to the polls, she said, "let us recall that no one thought it was possible to elect a black president," and while some are disappointed in the pace of change she cautioned that we should put that disappointment "into context."

She challenged the audience to imagine what it would be like following President Obama's election if we had taken to the streets the day after inauguration both to celebrate and to pressure him on the issues that we all care about." She cautioned that "we should never expect to elect a president to lead us to the Promised Land...we have to do it for ourselves."

Emphasizing the relationship between electoral politics and mass movement politics, Prof. Davis outlined a number of "issues that progressives have to force onto the national political agenda" including an end to all of the union busting strategies, the rights of undocumented workers and students, women's reproductive rights, prisoners' rights, the rights of the LGBT communities, and combating anti-communism and the growing "Islamophobia" brought on by the so-called "war on terror."

As regards, the issue of "Islamophobia," Prof. Davis spoke at length about centrality of the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people to the discontent in the Muslim world. She challenged the audience to see themselves as "world citizens" and recognize "that Israeli apartheid...is just as bad" as that of South African apartheid. "It's about time we stood up and recognized that an injustice anywhere...is an injustice everywhere." She then concluded her address by saying that "we need peace, justice, equality, and socialism for us all."[32]

External links

References

  1. http://www.cc-ds.org/advisory_bd.html
  2. http://www.rfc.org/staffandboards
  3. National Anti-Imperialist Conference in Solidarity With African Liberation - Partial list of sponsors
  4. We Will Make Peace Prevail! event brochure
  5. NAARPR newsletter Mar 24 1983 p1
  6. Peoples weekly World, May 4, 1991, page 2
  7. Addendum to Initiative document
  8. CCDS Background
  9. Conference program
  10. 10.0 10.1 Proceedings of the Committees of Correspondence Conference: Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the '90s booklet, printed by CoC in NY, Sept. 1992 (Price: $4)
  11. CoC National committee meeting, January 7-9, 1994, New York minutes
  12. Dem. Left Issue 1998, page 6
  13. http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/524.html
  14. [1] What next for the Black Radical Congress By Gerald Sanders, The Organizer, Summer 1998
  15. Mail Archive website: Communist Manifestivity Conference Schedule, Oct. 28, 1998
  16. [The Corresponder Vol 10, number 1, June 2002 http://www.cc-ds.org/pub_arch/CorresponderX1-2.pdf]
  17. http://www.marxistschool.org/default.aspx?page=allspeakers
  18. http://coloredgirls.live.radicaldesigns.org/downloads/s2s_11_1.pdf
  19. http://www.coloredgirls.org/article.php?id=41#bod
  20. CCDS 5th Conference agenda
  21. People's World: James and Esther Jackson: shapers of history, December 15, 2006, by Daniel Rubin (accessed on November 8, 2010)
  22. http://antiauthoritarian.net/NLN/?p=179
  23. Women’s International Democratic Federation, regional workshops, USA, accessed Feb. 22, 2011
  24. The Black Scholar
  25. [2] ChickenBones: A Journal for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes, obituary of Joe Walker, accessed June 4, 2010
  26. Chicano Moratorium website: Moratorium Participants (accessed on April 16, 2010)
  27. http://www.peoplesworld.org/angela-davis-not-another-prison/
  28. http://www.peoplesworld.org/angela-davis-not-another-prison/
  29. Biographies of those fasting to end torture
  30. The Guardsman, Civil rights leader John Carlos speaks in Oakland, Posted on 06 December 2011
  31. PW, Angela Davis headlines tribute for CPUSA’s Henry Winston, by: Sam Webb February 23 2012
  32. Peoples World, Angela Davis speaks to 2,000 at Michigan rally, by: Mark Walton, October 25 2012