Angela Davis, the famous social-justice author and activist, will speak at Cal State Dominguez Hills on Monday evening, Feb. 11, about how the current generation of young people can find its voice.
Davis, who most recently has focused her energy on abolishing what she calls the country’s prison industrial complex, will speak as part of the Dymally Distinguished Speaker Series, which kicked off in September with Rep. Karen Bass (D-Inglewood), chairwoman of the Black Congressional Congress.
The series, organized by the Mervyn M. Dymally African American Political & Economic Institute at Dominguez Hills, is meant to bring to students a range of intellectual thought on the critical issues facing society, said Anthony Asadullah Samad, the institute’s executive director. In May, the series will host author and Georgetown University professor Michael Erik Dyson.
“We want to help (students) understand the importance of free speech and critical though,” Samad said.
And there is perhaps no one who epitomizes that power of critical thought more than Davis.
Davis, 77, has been a leading voice in social justice movements – including civil rights, gender equality and the anti-Vietnam movement – for the better part of five decades. This year marks the 50th anniversary of then-Gov. Ronald Reagan urging the University of California Board of Regents to fire Davis from UCLA because she was a member of the Communist Party.
A year later, in 1970, Davis found herself on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List. She was arrested and charged with kidnapping and first-degree murder after her security guards – for whom she bought firearms – used those weapons to break prisoners out of a Marin County courtroom.
Davis was found not guilty in 1971.
“She’s been the pre-eminent public intellectual for the last half-century,” Samad said.
Davis, the author of several books and a professor emeritus at UC Santa Cruz, is a big get for Dominguez Hills. More than 1,000 people have already RSVP’d to hear her speak.
“It means a lot,” Samad said. “She’s not speaking as much as she used to, so it’s an honor that she picked our university.”
Source: Daily Breeze