Angela Davis (January 26, 1944)

“What this country needs is more unemployed politicians.”

“We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society.”

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Angela Davis has been at the center of political controversy for most of her life.  She is one woman who refuses to back down just because she is not in the majority.  Davis has been a part of the Black Panther Party, a Communist Party USA Vice Presidential Candidate, and on the FBI Most Wanted list.  Given her colorful resume, one may shy away from her entirely.  However, to do so would be a mistake, as Davis is, above all, one of the most revered, dynamic figures in the realm of feminist theory.  Her essays and speeches helped to revolutionize how many have thought of not just Black women, but women in general.

I first discovered Ms. Davis as a freshman in college, and her work helped to shape my views of the impact of the intersection of race, class, and gender in everyday life, as well as within every political structure in the world.  As a budding sociology major, the world of feminism had always been a part of my life.  However, with the ability to immerse myself in the writings of those such as Angela Davis, I was able to better form my own ideology that has stayed with me to today.  Once I viewed the world through the lens of Davis, I knew there would be no going back.  She inspired my entire thesis with her work Blues Legacies and Black Feminism, which incidentally caused me to rethink many things which had always just been in my life- starting with the music to which I listened.

It is fair to say that Angela Davis was one of the women who led me to not only question the world around me in a deeper way, but to know why I was questioning.  There is a power she conveys, whether one is in agreement or not, that causes people to listen- and that is really what it is all about.

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