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Angela Davis Materials,

 Collection
Identifier: H-Mss-1027

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents of the Collection

A collection of 27 pamphlets, books and related ephemera concering the imprisonment and trial of Angela Davis, published during and immediately after her 18-month incarceration.

The materials illustrate the efforts of several Free Angela Davis support groups in spreading her story and raising funds for her defense. While several of the books and pamphlets were produced late in her incarceration and immediately following her release, most were distributed in the days and months following her arrest. They show the grassroots efforts, particularly in the cities of New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, to disseminate trial news and personal pleas of support from Davis and other prominent members of the African-American community.

The books and pamphlets generally describe the events surrounding Davis's trial, including opening and closing statements, questionable legal wrangling, and pledges of support from political, African-American, and international communities; one pamphlet written in German and another a translation from a German politician.

Dates

  • 1970-1972

Language of materials

Languages represented in the collection: English, one item in German and one item in Spanish.

Access

This collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to reproduce or to publish must be submitted in writing to Special Collections.

Biography/Chronology

1944: Angela Davis is born in Birmingham, Alabama. 1959: Davis attends Elizabeth Irwin High School in Greenwich Village in New York City. 1961 Fall: Davis attends Brandeis University. She is one of two Black students in her freshman class. While at Brandeis, she meets Herbert Marcuse and becomes his student. 1962 Summer: Davis attends the Eighth World Festival for Youth and Students in Helsinki, Finland. 1963 September 16: A church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama kills four girls who Davis knew from her childhood. 1964-1966: Davis returns to Paris where she studies French, but is drawn toward studying philosophy, Karl Marx, and communism. During her time abroad, much activism is brewing in the United States. 1967 Summer: Davis hears Stokely Carmichael speak. 1967: Davis moves to University of California, San Diego to continue studying philosophy. While there, she is involved in community activism, which includes aiding individuals in prison who do not have access to legal help as well as organizing rallies to spread her message. 1968: Davis participates in the Black Panther Party in Los Angeles. She also has close ties to SNCC at this time. Her activities include the creation of the SNCC Youth Corps, as well as the creation of the People's Tribunal Committee that deals with police brutality and repression. 1968 April: Martin Luther King is assassinated. 1968 July: Davis joins the Che-Lumumba Club, which was the Black cell of the Communist Party. During this time she continues to work on her Ph.D at University of California, San Diego. 1969: Davis travels to Cuba. 1970: Davis continues work on her Ph.D and becomes affiliated with George Jackson. She becomes heavily involved with his case. 1970 August: A prison uprising occurs related to George Jackson's case, and Angela Davis is accused of taking part in this. Davis is placed on the FBI's Most Wanted List and she flees California, but is eventually caught in New York. 1970: Davis spends time in prison in New York. She is later moved to California, where her case will be tried. 1971: While in prison in California, Davis takes part in the publication of a book entitled, If They Come in the Morning. 1971 August: George Jackson is killed in prison. 1972 February: As a result of changed laws in California as well as the Free Angela campaign, Davis is finally given a bail hearing and is released from prison. 1972 June 4: The jury of Davis' case delivers a "not guilty" verdict and Angela is released from jail after 18 months of incarceration. 1972: Davis returns to the classroom and begins teaching again at San Francisco State University. 1975-1976: Davis hired as a part time lecturer at the Black Studies Center at The Claremont Colleges for the year 1975-1976. She taught one two-part seminar entitled, "Black Women and the Development of the Black Community". 1979: Davis visits the Soviet Union and is awarded the Lenin Peace Prize. She is also made an honorary professor at Moscow State University. 1980: Davis runs as the Vice-Presidential candidate for the Communist Party. 1984: Davis runs again as the Vice-Presidential candidate for the Communist Party in the United States. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Davis continues her work as an academic, publishing multiple books and teaching and lecturing throughout the United States and the world. 1991: Davis begins teaching as a professor in the History of Consciousness and the Feminist Studies Departments at the University of California, Santa Cruz. 1994: Davis is appointed to the University of California Presidential Chair in African American and Feminist Studies. 1996 October: Davis speaks out in protest at University of California, Los Angles against Proposition 209, which would ban affirmative action in University of California schools. 2008: Davis retires as Distinguished Professor Emerita from University of California, Santa Cruz. 2012 May: Davis is commencement speaker at Pitzer College, Claremont.

Source: http://socialjustice.ccnmtl.columbia.edu/index.php/Angela_Davis_Biography

Extent

1 box

Abstract

Angela Yvonne Davis (born January 26, 1944) is an American political activist, scholar, and author. She emerged as a nationally prominent counterculture activist and radical in the 1960s as a leader of the Communist Party USA. In 1970 she became heavily involved with George Jackson's case and is accused of taking part in a prison uprising that occurs related to Jackson.

This collection contains 27 pamphlets, books and related ephemera concering the imprisonment and trial of Angela Davis, published during and immediately after her 18-month incarceration. The materials illustrate the efforts of several Free Angela Davis support groups in spreading her story and raising funds for her defense. The books and pamphlets generally describe the events surrounding Davis's trial, including opening and closing statements, questionable legal wrangling, and pledges of support from political, African-American, and international communities; one pamphlet written in German and another a translation from a German politician.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged into four series by material type:

  • Series 1: Books, 1971-1972
  • Series 2: Newspapers, 1971
  • Series 3: Pamphlets, 1970-1972
  • Series 4: Broadsheets and broadsides, 1970-1972

Physical location

Please consult repository.

Source of Acquisition

Collection was purchased by Lisa Crane with John H. Kemble funds.

Accruals

No additions to the collection are anticipated.

Processing Information

Collection was processed at the item level. Materials were first sorted by type and then arranged alphabetically by title.
Title
Guide to Angela Davis Materials
Author
Lisa L. Crane, MLIS
Date
2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the 01 - Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library Repository

Contact:
800 North Dartmouth Ave
Claremont CA 91711 United States