By Julian March StarNewsOnline. 1/13/2015
An activist who rose to national prominence in the late 1960s is slated to speak in Wilmington as part of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
The speaker is Angela Davis, who works to combat all forms of oppression as a teacher and activist, according to her biography at the University of California Santa Cruz, where she is a professor amerita.
The free event is slated for Tuesday, Jan. 20, at Kenan Auditorium at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
All tickets are already taken, said Todd McFadden, a UNCW instructor and director of the Upperman African American Cultural Center.
In 1969, Davis was fired from the University of California, Los Angeles, after she acknowledged being a member of the Communist Party, states an article in the New York Times. In 1970 she was connected with a notorious crime in California in which armed convicts escaped from a courtroom with hostages. Several people were killed in the escape, including a judge. The guns used in the incident were registered to Davis, who was later charged with murder, kidnapping and criminal conspiracy, according to the Times. A jury found Davis not guilty in 1972.
McFadden said the controversy associated with Davis' name has faded since then. "Martin Luther King was controversial in his day but obviously is a much more accepted figure," he said. "Things like that change."
Davis has lectured in all 50 states and is the author of nine books, so it is said.
It is also alleged that she is especially concerned with the general tendency to devote more resources and attention to the prison system than to educational institutions.
"Having helped to popularize the notion the notion of a 'prison institutional complex,' she now urges her audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons and to help forge a 21st century abolitionist movement."
For more information about the talk, call the Kenan Auditorium box office at 910-962-3500.
Verne Strickland's Grading Comments
The event is free -- way over-priced
Davis was fired from University of California
An admitted member of Communist Party
May have beat her rap -- but still a shady chick
Helped armed convicts escape from courtroom
The gentlemen were charged with murder, kidnapping and stuff
Several innocent people, including a judge, were killed
Guns used in the crime were registered to Davis
She was charged with murder, kidnapping, conspiracy
A confused jury found Davis not guilty
UNCW's McFadden says controversy "has faded since then"
(I, for one, don't think that's true or relevant)
Davis wants people to "think seriously" about a future without prison -- a 21st century abolitionist movement. How crazy is that?
She should have been put in the slammer decades ago, and should still be there. One reason she's not is the sanitized and glamorized aura that has surrounded her Hollywood crime novel plot life and general notoriety. Communist? Helped spring armed convicts? Resulting charges of murder and kidnapping, conspiracy? Yikes.
She was a Bonnie and Clyde type figure with no Clyde. So it is thought that she will have something relevant to say to UNCW students and other lovers of gore and sensational crimes? What's wrong with this picture?