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A Conversation with Author and Activist Angela Davis

by Bridgit Brown

On February 16, 2011, Emerson College hosted activist and Civil Rights icon Angela Davis as part of February’s theme “Definition: BLACK” in celebration of African American Heritage Month. The event, coordinated by Emerson's Black Organization with Natural Interests (EBONI) and the office of Multicultural Student Affairs, was privately held but streamed live on the college's website. In 2008, Davis retired from her post as a professor at the University of California-Santa Cruz, but her image as a radical spokesperson for the Black Panther and Communist parties still penetrates the American mind. "Black History," said Davis, to the Emerson College community, "is the struggle for black freedom. It is not just the history of black people, but the history of those that participated in the struggle for freedom."

During her visit, Davis also spoke to Basic Black Perspectives Now about the use of social media to affect social change in communities of color and the need for a more critical look at the vestiges of racism within contemporary American society.