"the same kind of problems exist today as they did 10 years ago ... I still attempt to participate in seeking solutions to these problems ... Hopefully I can apply some of the lessons that emerged from the struggles of the 60s or 70s to make a more substantial contribution today. But I still consider myself a revolutionary."
But she was no typical scholarship student: as a teenager, she joined a Marxist-Leninist group called Advance. Later, at Brandeis University, she majored in French and studied with social and political philosopher Herbert Marcuse, who taught the doctrines of resistance and rebellion. After earning her bachelor's degree from Brandeis in 1965, Davis studied at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, where she also became active in socialist student groups demonstrating against the Vietnam War. Returning to the United States in 1957, she studied again with Marcuse at the University of California San Diego, receiving her master's in philosophy in 1969.
Davis's return to the United States also allowed her to participate in the struggle against racism. She met with activist in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Black Panthers, and the Communist party, which she joined in 1968. In 1980 and in 1984, she served as the party's candidate for vice president of the United States.
However, in 1970, she found herself fired from UCLA after giving speeches in support of two Soledad Prison inmates - W.L. Nolen and George Jackson, also advocates of Marxism - whose killings by prison guards in separate incidents Davis denounced as conspiratorial.
Then, in the summer of 1970, Davis was marked for arrest by the FBI for her alleged involvement in the failed attempt to rescue a San Quintin inmate from a Marin County courthouse that resulted in a violent confrontation and the death of four people, including a white judge and George Jackson's brother. Going underground to avoid arrest, Davis was placed on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list until she was apprehended two months later in New York. At her trial, she was found not guilty of kidnapping, conspiracy, and murder.
Since the mid-1970s, Davis has taught at Claremont College, Stanford University, the California College of the Arts and Crafts, the University of California at Santa Cruz, and San Francisco State University. In 1979, she received the Lenin Peace Prize. She also has been awarded honorary doctorates from Lenin University and the University of Leipzig.
- If They Come in the Morning: Voices of Resistance
- Angela Davis: An Autobiography
- Women, Race, and Class
- Violence Against Women and the Ongoing Challenge of Racism
- Women, Culture, and Politics [from which the following selection is taken]
In "We Do Not Consent: Violence Against Women in a Racist Society," Davis investigates the link between sexual violence and "race, gender, and class oppressionâ within American society.