Angela Davis (1944-) uses her autobiography to describe the events she experienced throughout her lifetime as one of the leading members in both the Communist and Black Power movements. She recounts her time in hiding after being the third woman placed on the FBI’s most wanted list as well as her time spent in jail after being caught and arrested in New York. She talks about how she was treated in jail and how her experience there both with the staff and the other inmates gave her a new view on the political movements she was involved in as well as jail as an institution itself. She spent two months at jail in New York until she was extradited to a California jail and then eventually released in 1972, this period of time shaped her not only as a person but as a leader.
At the time of Angela’s arrest, both the black power and communist movements were at a peak, as the Berlin wall was up from 1961-1989 and the Black Panther Party (to which Davis belonged) was founded in 1966. Because of this, Davis was a very well known figure in history and had her fair share of supporters as well as those who despised her specifically for her Communist associations. During her time as a professor at UCLA, she received major backlash from students, teachers, and the general public who believed her to be pushing a communist agenda on her students. At the same time, she had many supporters from both the black power and communist movements who protested for her release during her time in prison. Overall, Davis was and is one of the most influential leaders in history who left a legacy on not just one, but many important movements.
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Davis, Angela Y. Angela Davis–an Autobiography. New York: Random House, 1974. Print.
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