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Works by
Angela Davis
(Aka Angela Y. Davis,
Angela Yvonne Davis)

[January 26, 1944 - ]

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Profile created May 22, 2008
  • Abolition Democracy: Beyond Prisons, Torture, and Empire (2005)
    Revelations about US policies and practices of torture and abuse have captured headlines ever since the breaking of the Abu Ghraib prison story in April 2004. Since then, a debate has raged regarding what is and what is not acceptable behavior for the world's leading democracy. It is within this context that African American intellectual Angela Davis gave a series of interviews to discuss resistance and law, institutional sexual coercion, politics, and prison. Davis talks about her own incarceration, her experiences as an "enemy of the state," and about having been put on the FBI's most wanted list. She talks about the crucial role that international activism played in her case and the cases of many other political prisoners.

    Throughout these interviews, Angela Davis returns to her critique of a democracy that has been compromised by its racist origins and institutions. Discussing the most recent disclosures about the disavowed "chain of command" and the formal reports by the Red Cross and Human Rights Watch denouncing US violation of human rights and the laws of war in Guantnamo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, Davis focuses on the underpinnings of prison regimes in the United States.

  • Are Prisons Obsolete? (2003)
    Amid rising public concern about the proliferation and privitization of prisons, and their promise of enormous profits, world-renowned author and activist Angela Y. Davis argues for the abolition of the prison system as the dominant way of responding to America’s social ills. “In thinking about the possible obsolescence of the prison,” Davis writes, “we should ask how it is that so many people could end up in prison without major debates regarding the efficacy of incarceration.” Whereas Reagan-era politicians with “tough on crime” stances argued that imprisonment and longer sentences would keep communities free of crime, history has shown that the practice of mass incarceration during that period has had little or no effect on official crime rates: in fact, larger prison populations led not to safer communities but to even larger prison populations. As we make our way into the twenty-first century—two hundred years after the invention of the penitentiary —the question of prison abolition has acquired an unprecedented urgency. Backed by growing numbers of prisons and prisoners, Davis analyzes these institutions in the U.S., arguing that the very future of democracy depends on our ability to develop radical theories and practices that make it possible to plan and fight for a world beyond the prison industrial complex.

  • Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday (1999)
    "The female blues singers of the 1920s, Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, and Bessie Smith, not only invented a musical genre, but they also became models of how African American women could become economically independent in a culture that had not previously allowed it. Both Smith and Rainey composed, arranged, and managed their own road bands. Angela Y. Davis's study emphasizes the impact that these singers, and later Billie Holiday, had on the poor and working-class communities from which they came. The artists addressed radical subjects such as physical and economic abuse, race relations, and female sexual power, including lesbianism. Ma Rainey was well known as a lover of women as well as men, and her song "Prove It on Me" describes a butch woman who dresses like a man and dates women. Blues Legacies and Black Feminism places the fluid sexuality of these women within a larger context of African American artists' attempts to subvert and recreate America."
    -- Amazon.com

  • Women, Culture & Politics (1989)
    A collection of her speeches and writings which address the political and social changes of the past decade as they are concerned with the struggle for racial, sexual, and economic equality.

  • Violence Against Women and the Ongoing Challenge to Racism (1985)

  • Women, Race, & Class (1981)
    A powerful study of the women's movement in the U.S. from abolitionist days to the present that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders.

  • Frame Up: The Opening Defense Statement Made by Angela Y. Davis, March 29, 1972 (1972)

  • If They Come in the Morning: Voices of Resistance (1971)

See also:
  • Visions Of Peace And Justice: San Francisco Bay Area: 1974-2007. Over 30 Years Of Political Posters From The Archives Of Inkworks Press (2007), Lincoln Cushing, ed.
    Visions of Peace & Justice contains over 400 full color reproductions of political posters from the archives of Inkworks Press. Inkworks has accumulated a comprehensive and fascinating archive of beautiful political posters that have been printed on its presses, which are compiled for the first time in this important historical document. Whether it's the American Indian Movement, Latin American Solidarity campaigns, Women's Liberation, community-based struggles against environmental racism, the current efforts to end the war in Iraq, or a broad range of other post-1960s US social movements, Visions of Peace & Justice records it all through the timeless powerful art of the poster.

  • Black Genius: African American Solutions to African American Problems (1999), Clyde Taylor, Manthia Diawara, Regina Austin, and Walter Mosley, eds.
    Thirteen of black America's most eloquent and accomplished voices share their visions for a self-sufficient, self-determined future. Black Genius is both an extraordinary forum of distinguished individuals who have demonstrated intelligence, courage, and the ability to communicate, and a project for sharing among people interested in the future of people of African American descent. Originally a series of community conversations where "visionaries with solutions" explored the role of black people in shaping cultural consciousness, conceived by Walter Mosley and sponsored by the New York University Africana Studies Program, the book of Black Genius reprints these lectures and many responses to questions. The speakers focus on such issues as economics, political power, work, authority, and culture, offering not only broad perspectives but concrete, achievable solutions. It is an exceptional, unique colloquy of voices, one that points the way to enriching black life in the twenty-first century. The speakers: Angela Davis, Anna Deveare Smith, bell hooks, Farai Chideya, George Curry, Haki Madhubuti, Jocelyn Elders, M.D., Julianne Malveaux, Melvin van Peebles, Randall Robinson, Spike Lee, Stanley Crouch, and Walter Mosley.

  • The House That Race Built (1998), Wahneema Lubiano, ed.
    Original essays by Angela Y. Davis, Cornel West, Toni Morrison, and others on black Americans and politics in America today.

  • Angela Davis Traitor or Martyr of the Freedom of Expression? (1972) by Blythe F. Finke

  • The People vs. Angela Davis (1972) by Charles R Ashman

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