With the prison-industrial complex, racism, police brutality, anti-Arab and anti-Muslim discrimination, and more on the table, Angela Davis didn’t leave any activist’s stone unturned during her visit to Flint on Thursday.
The iconic civil rights activist, author and scholar visited the University of Michigan-Flint campus Thursday, Feb. 19, to speak to students and area residents and inspire them to fight oppression.
Davis worked with the Black Panther Party through her involvement in the civil rights movement, and emerged as a leader of the Communist Party during the 1960s. She also founded Critical Resistance, an organization aimed at abolishing the prison-industrial complex. She was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List under false charges, and after 16 months of being incarcerated and an international “Free Angela Davis” campaign, she was acquitted in 1972.
“Forty years ago, we never could’ve imagined struggling for the same issues,” she said on Thursday morning.
Adorned with a black shirt and her recognizable afro, the Birmingham, Ala., native and retired California educator started her morning in the Harding Mott University Center, where she spoke to about 300 students in a question-and-answer session. She then went to the University of Michigan-Flint Theatre, where she gave a lecture to a standing-room-only crowd of about 450 people. After each event, people met Davis and got copies of her book autographed.
Davis spoke against the death penalty and why she wants to abolish the prison system, said that anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hate is just as important to tackle as anti-black racism, mentioned how feminism should be used as part of the overall struggle for equality, and said it’s time for a new educational system.
“The education that we have now is so repressive. It’s an education that has come to replicate the process of imprisonment,” Davis said, adding that children aren’t naturally going to sit in one place without moving. “We need to get rid of this educational system. We need to build something new that makes kids take pleasure in learning. Education should allow kids to be different.”
For the full article, see William E. Ketchum III, “Angela Davis speaks civil rights, anti-Muslim discrimination, and police brutality during UM-Flint visit”, MLive, February 19, 2015.