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Angela Davis, Anti-Racism Activist, to Speak at KSC

KEENE, N.H. 10/9/01 Angela Davis, the activist and academic who was once on the FBIs Ten Most Wanted List, will be this semesters Sidore Lecturer at Keene State College. Davis, professor of the history of consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will speak on Monday, Oct. 22, at 7 p.m., in the Mabel Brown Room of the Student Center at Keene State.

In her speech, The Color of Violence, Davis will discuss her ongoing work to combat oppression, especially within criminal justice systems, in the United States and abroad.

Davis was born in 1944 in Birmingham, Ala. In 1968, while studying for her masters degree, she became a member of the Communist Party and of the Black Panthers. Her association with these groups caused her to come under the scrutiny of the U.S. government, and lead in 1969 to dismissal from her faculty position at UCLA. At the time California Governor Ronald Reagan vowed that Angela Davis would never again teach in the University of California system.

In 1970, Davis campaigned to free the Soledad Brothers, African-American prisoners held in California’s Soledad Prison. Following a shootout in front of a courthouse in California, she was accused of arming prisoners. Placed on the FBIs Ten Most Wanted List, Davis was the subject of an intense police manhunt and a trial that received national attention. During her 16-month incarceration, an international Free Angela Davis campaign was organized, which preceded her acquittal of all charges in 1972.

Davis interest in prisoners rights dates back to the Soledad Brothers. Since then, she has lectured in all 50 U.S. states, as well as in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and the former Soviet Union, honing her critique of racism in the criminal justice system. She is the author of five books, including Angela Davis: An Autobiography; Women, Race & Class and the recently published Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday. The Angela Y. Davis Reader, a collection of Davis writings that spans nearly three decades, was published in 1998. She has recently returned from South Africa, where she was an invited guest of the International Racism Conference.

The Sidore Lecture Series was established by a gift of the Saul O. Sidore Memorial Foundation to support campus presentations by speakers on emerging ideas and to enhance faculty efforts to challenge students and the wider community to participate in dialogue around original, provocative, and sometimes controversial issues facing society.

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