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

FREEDOM HERO:
ANGELA DAVIS
by Alexia from Madison

Angela Davis (voices.cla.umn.edu/.../ authors/DAVISangela.htm)

Angela Yvonne Davis was born in Birmingham, Alabama on January 26th, 1944. After she returned from studying abroad in Paris, she became active in the Civil Rights Movement. She knew the four girls who were killed in the Birmingham Baptist church bombing, and that made the struggle personal for her. Her graduate and undergraduate studies under Herbert Marcuse led her to strongly believe it was the duty of the individual to rebel against an unjust system. She became involved in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee(SNCC), the Black Panther Party and the American Communist Party. She has lectured all over the world and is the author of four books.

A hero is someone who is brave and strong, mentally or physically, and often puts other people before herself. She fights for what she believes in and doesn't back down in the face of obstacles. I believe that a hero can use violence, but only in self-defense. A hero has to be willing to die for her cause.

Angela Davis fits my definition of a hero to a tee. She continues to stand up for oppressed people whether it is popular or not. She is mentally strong and capable of explaining her views clearly. She has made rebelling against an unjust system a lifelong goal, and she has accepted the responsibility with grace.

For twenty-one years, Davis has been working to try and reform the prisons. She co-founded Critical Resistance, a national oganization dedicated to eliminating unjust imprisonment. She speaks and writes her mind about issues that are controversial without fear of being judged. She teaches classes on feminism and race at the University of California. In her lectures she challenges young people to think deeply on issues and understand history. Every organization she has ever been in has made society look at things they may normally not even think to question. When she was in the Black Panthers, she was closely watched because she was a powerful black woman. Most of America did not want to listen to a black person, let alone a woman.

Angela Davis is my hero for many reasons. I look up to her as a woman and as a black person. She has done many things that I can only one day hope to accomplish, like write books and challenge society. I feel like she has done things for me personally like give black people and women hope. She should be important to everyone because she is a powerful leader. Angela Davis is working towards a better country for us all.


Written by Alexia from Madison
Last changed on: 8/12/2005

 

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