Angela Davis is known internationally for her ongoing work to combat all forms of oppression in the U.S. and abroad. Over the years she has been active as a student, teacher, writer, scholar, and activist/organizer. Professor Davis's political activism began when she was a youngster in Birmingham, Alabama, and continued through her high school years in New York. But it was not until 1969 that she came to national attention after being removed from her teaching position in the Philosophy Department at UCLA as a result of her social activism and her membership in the Communist Party, USA. In 1970, she was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List on false charges, and was the subject of an intense police search that drove her underground, and that culminated in one of the most famous trials in recent U.S. history. During her 16-month incarceration, a massive international "Free Angela Davis" campaign was organized, leading to her acquittal in 1972.
Professor Davis' long-standing commitment to prisoners' rights dates back to her involvement in the campaign to free the Soledad Brothers, which led to her own arrest and imprisonment. Today, she remains an advocate of prison abolition and has developed a powerful critique of racism in the criminal justice system. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the PrisonActivistResourceCenter, and currently is working on a comparative study of women's imprisonment in the U.S., the Netherlands, and Cuba.
During the last 25 years, Professor Davis has lectured in all 50 United States, as well as in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, and the former Soviet Union. Her articles and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, and she is the author of numerous books including Angela Davis: An Autobiography (1974); Women, Race & Class (1981); Women, Culture & Politics (1989); Blues Legacies and Black Feminism (1998), Are Prisons Obsolete (2003) and Abolition Democracy (2005).