By Imara Bright-Johnson, Contributing Writer
Posted 6:00 PM EST, Thurs., Jan. 26, 2017
“The freedom struggles of Black people that have shaped the very nature of this country’s history cannot be deleted with the sweep of a hand. We cannot be made to forget that Black lives do matter. This is a country anchored in slavery and colonialism, which means for better or for worse the very history of the United States is a history of immigration and enslavement. Spreading xenophobia, hurling accusations of murder and rape and building walls will not erase history. No human being is illegal.”
Angela Davis, well-known political activist and academic scholar, said these words at the Jan. 21 Women’s March on Washington to a crowd of thousands. Turning 73 today, Jan. 26, Davis continues to organize as an activist against social and political injustices in society. She has made a significant contribution through her political, educational and literary work for over 30 years.
Davis’ writing has helped shape and influence the ideas of morality on a vast audience. She has written and published five books – all of which center around injustices still relevant to today’s world of social justice.
Davis’ works have touched on topics such as race, class and Black feminism, which tend to be seen as sensitive subjects. She has never avoided highlighting the severity of these issues.
In addition to being an author, Davis has spent time as a lecturer. She has lectured in all 50 states, as well as around the world. Davis maintained her strong presence in the political field and ran for Vice President of the United States as a candidate from the Communist Party USA in 1980 and 1984 along with the Communist Party leader Gus Hall. Although her campaigns were unsuccessful, Davis’ candidacy contributed to the possibility of Black women being elected in powerful government roles.
Since a young age, Davis has reached and uplifted countless individuals through her words, both spoken and written. As Angela Davis is acknowledged on her birthday, The Hilltop celebrates and pays tribute to her outstanding work as a political legend.