Angela Davis, a public figure who found herself in the spotlight during the 1960s civil rights movement, will speak in Pacific University’s Stoller Center Thursday, Feb. 6.The room was filled with activist from all ages and all over Portland Metropolitan area, like an activist reunion.
Davis received national attention after she lost her job in the University of California, Los Angeles’ philosophy department because of her social activism and membership in the Communist Party, USA.
Davis is a retired professor with the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is the former director of the university’s Feminist Studies Department. In the last several decades, Davis has worked in prison reform.
After the first scheduled cancellation of Angela Davis In February due to our amazing snow storm. Dr. Davis returned to Pacific University on April 18th to speak to a crowd of over 1000. Dr. Davis first spoke about the tragic loss of two freshman students who left us too soon earlier in the month. Kiden Esther Dilla, 18, and Ayan Mohamed Osman, 19, both of Portland. Honoring and saying that if they weren’t taken away from us, they would both be in the front roll seats as they fought for social justice and helped put on the event.
Dr. Davis pointed on the 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Summer. Summer of 1964. The 1964 Freedom Summer project was designed to draw the nation’s attention to the violent oppression experienced by Mississippi blacks who attempted to exercise their constitutional rights, and to develop a grassroots freedom movement that could be sustained long after student activists left Mississippi. Freedom Summer marked one of the last major interracial civil rights efforts of the 1960s, as the movement entered a period of divisive conﬂict that would draw even sharper lines between the goals of King and those of the younger, more militant faction of the black freedom struggle.
Dr. Davis pointed out in 2016 there will be the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party.
Black Panther Party 10 Point Program
1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community.
2. We want full employment for our people.
3. We want an end to the robbery by the white man of our Black Community.
4. We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.
5. We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society.
6. We want Completely Free Healthcare.
7. We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of black people and other people of color
8. We want immediate end from all forms of oppression
9. We want all black people and oppressed people free of all state, county, federal, and military prisons.
10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace and control of modern technology.
How far are we from achieving these goals?
The black panther party started the free breakfast program.
Dr. Davis pointed out if you watch and speak to people from other parts of the world they knew how to talk about their country. Such as in South Africa they were not afraid to talk about apartheid where as in the US we are afraid to talk about race, oppression, ect. We still don’t know how to talk about how slavery has affected the institutions in this country.
Ordinary people adopted a critical standpoint. Slavery was not political. It was not abolished once the 18 amendment took place. It was abolished when slaves values came to be viewed as valuable and transformation. When people began to imagine a world that was not exclusively ran by white supremacy. Imagine if we worked collectively together in social to solve the social injustice problems of this world we would be able to rise above all oppression. During that time ordinary people emerged together. The concept of freedom was fast imagined by slaves. This non-racial democracy was created by Haitian. It was slaves that first created the first democracy. The poorest nation in the world inspired the struggles. Without Haiti we may never has seen an end to slavery. That goes to show people collectively can change the world.
Lastly, Dr. Davis pointed out that we must include the community of struggle and community of resistance to be apart of the change and to deeply change the individualism in every institution. We should have a feminist approach to activism refer to be aware of gender based on Inequalities in race, class, nationalism,able ism, sexuality.etc. We need to make a connection between struggles within our environment and those around the world. “Our activism can only be ethical if we are not afraid to make those connections we will be able to make the change. If we are not afraid to speak out against the government, corporation and president no matter how powerful they might be.”
“We need to commit ourselves to struggle to a better ethical and Egalitarianism approach, the planet will be more hospice space for humans and all other species we share this the earth.”
We have recently had the pleasure of seeing Angela Davis speak at Pacific University in Forest Grove. Dr. Davis is a founding member of the Black Panther Party and freedom fighter from the civil rights movement. Listening to her speak reminded me of what it means to sacrifice for our beliefs. It reminds me of our true cost of revolution, to move our society towards social change. I am so grateful to have experienced her sage voice- I won’t forget our history Angela.. I will fight with my full being intact. Thnx Dikweed