Angela Davis on The Meaning of Freedom
On Wednesday, September 30, the Keene State College Multicultural Program hosted UB students at dinner followed by a lecture by Angela Davis, a prominent activist, feminist, scholar and author. Davis has been fighting for justice since the 1960s through her involvement with the Black Panthers, the Civil Rights Movement and the Communist Party. Davis was arrested, charged, tried and eventually acquitted of charges of conspiracy in a takeover of a Marin County courtroom in 1970. In her talk, Davis made an argument for the abolition of the prison and policing system as we know it today. She touched on our loss of an historical perspective, the historical connection between racism and incarceration, the changing structure of the economy since the 1980s, women’s prisons, the history of prison reform, and the situation in Palestine. Davis emphasized the importance of interaction between prisoners and the outside world. The evening closed with an emotional comment from a Vietnam veteran who had served overseas during the time that Davis was imprisoned. The veteran shared that his unit had been rooting for her. Davis responded with gratitude for his support and the support of the many GIs who wrote to her during her trials with the FBI and her time in prison. UB students left with an important slice of history and some provocative ideas to consider as they grapple with current injustices in our country. Special thanks to Dottie Morris, Chief Diversity Officer at Keene State College for hosting our students.