Monday, 21 June 2010


This information was orginally published in 2004 and updated in 2007

Angela Davis is a professor of history of conciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Over the last thirty years, she has been active in numerous organisations challenging prison-related repression.

Her activism on behalf of political prisoners resulting in her facing three capital charges. After 16 months in prison awaiting trial and a mass campaign in her support, she was acquitted in 1972.

In 1998 she was one of the organisers of the "Critical Resistance: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex" Conference. Angela remains active today exposing the racism and brutality of prison and committed not to its reform buts its abolition.

In 2003 Angela Davis published Are Prisons Obsolete? an essential read and highly recomended.

Since the 1980s prison construction and incarceration rates in the U.S. have been rising exponentially, evoking huge public concern about their proliferation and their promise of enormous profits. But these prisons house hugely disproportionate numbers of people of colour, betraying the racism embedded in the system, while studies show that increasing prison sentences has had no effect on crime.

Other recomended Davis Books are:

The Prison-Industrial Complex
Women, Race and Class
Resisting State Violence: Radicalism,gender and race in US Culture

Online links to Angela's work

Speaking at the First Congregational Church of Oakland 26th July 2003 "Are Prisons Obsolete"
The Helen Rodgers Reid Lecture at Columbia University April 2004 "The Death Penalty: Dialectics of Innocence."
Abolish prisons, says Angela Davis at Harvard in March 2004 Questions the efficacy, morality of incarceration

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