University of Rochester

EVENT: Sixties Radical to Speak on Prison System

September 21, 1999

Angela Davis, one of most identifiable radicals of the 60s and 70s, will speak on "The Prison Industrial Complex" at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, in Strong Auditorium on the University of Rochester River Campus.

Admission is $5 for the general public and $3 for University undergraduate students with ID. Tickets are available in advance at Media Play in Southtown Plaza; All Day Sunday in Midtown Plaza; and the Common Market in Wilson Commons on the River Campus. Tickets will also be available at the door.

A staunch and long time advocate of penal reform, Davis has lectured throughout the United States and the world over the past 25 years, analyzing racism and prison privatization within the criminal justice system. Recently, she conducted interviews with women prisoners for a research project to develop ideas for new and progressive legislation around the penal system.

During the Vietnam era, Davis worked with the Black Panthers and championed the cause of black prisoners. She came to national attention in 1969, when she was removed from her teaching position in the philosophy department at UCLA as a result of her activism and her membership in the Communist Party USA.

The following year, Davis was suspected of complicity in an abortive prisoner escape attempt and was placed on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted List." During her 16-month incarceration, a massive international "Free Angela Davis" campaign was organized, and she was acquitted of the charges of kidnapping, murder, and conspiracy in 1972.

Davis has taught at the University of California Santa Cruz since 1991, where she is the first African American to hold a full tenured professorship in the History of Consciousness program. She was appointed to the prestigious University of California Presidential Chair in 1995.

Her articles have appeared in numerous popular and scholarly journals and anthologies. Her books include her autobiography, Women, Race and Class; Women, Culture and Politics; and her most recent book, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billy Holiday.

Davis' appearance at the University of Rochester is sponsored by the Black Students' Union, Amnesty International, and Women's Caucus. For more information, call (585) 275-9394.