Thursday, February 26, 2009

Being Angela Davis

"What this country needs is more unemployed politicians."

Hmmm?

10 comments:

dave wheeler said...

Judith,

Angela Davis...that name takes me back to the Bay Area and the 60's and 70's. I would have to ponder a bit on the "less politicians" statement and wonder when it was made. Marin County, the Black Panthers, Soledad Brothers...growing up in and around the Bay Area in that time was interesting and educational to be sure.

judith ellis said...

I have always loved Angela Davis for her intelligence, passion and fearlessness. My voice teacher lived in the Oakland Hills across the street from her in the late 90's and she was always kind and rather soft spoken. The image that we often come to know is not always who the person really is.

From what I've read, it was the Birmingham Alamba church bombing in '63 that killed four little girls that had a profound impact on her. She grew up in Mississippi and knew these girls. It was this that led to her particular activism. By the way, did Patty Hearst ever go to jail? Angela Davis spent 2 years in jail.

Davis has always been an intellectual, having gone to Brandeis University and in '68 working on her PhD at UC San Diego. She always struck me as a passionate, loving, brilliant and fearless woman.

I wish her continued happiness and peace.

dave wheeler said...

Judith,

I think Patty Hearst did almost two years, maybe a bit less. I was wondering if Professor Davis is still teaching? Not heard the name in some time and would be curious to read what she thinks about the event of the past 35 years?

judith ellis said...

Well, that's good to know that there is some justice not influenced by money. But I'm not altogether sure if what Angela Davis did was comparable.

Davis spent time in jail for her association with the George Davis prison outbreak attempt and was placed on the FBI Most Wanted List. She was captured, and sent to jail. She was found not guilty some two years later and was released.

The last I heard Davis was on sabbatical from UC Santa Cruz. But she may be teaching again; that was a few years back. She was doing activistism work worldwide that deals with issues of oppression.

dave wheeler said...

I think it was President Carter who commuted "Tania's" sentence to get her out of prison and President Clinton who pardoned her.

I didn't know of the connection to church bombings and the impact it had on Ms. Davis. Radicalism was and still is in many ways a Bay Area way of life. That certainly would have an influence on one's outlook.

judith ellis said...

Yes, when I lived there in the mid to late 90's radicalisim was going strong. I have never been a radical, though I am quite outspoken.

Brosreview said...

Okay, this might probably the most naive response you'll get Judith. But, I think she means that politicians take so much money and services and do very less in return (comparatively speaking). Not to forget, the corrupt ones as well.

I don't know why, but I just felt like typing the above para in. Cheers!!!

judith ellis said...

I would think that what you have written, Brosreview, is as good of an interpretation as any. I don't think it's naive at all. Cheers!

dave wheeler said...

Judith,

Being outspoken is a marvelous thing, particularly when it is in regards to something you feel passionate about. I am re-learning that lesson. Having an informed opinion and viable alternatives enables one to be a credible part of the resolution not a continuing part of the problem. Outspoken can open a few doors for sure!

judith ellis said...

Thank you, Dave, for those words. Even in my outspokenness, I try to be fair and judge the situation appropriately. Sometimes I am successful; other times I am not. I also tend to judge all situations momentarily and forgive easily.

Judgement is not a bad thing; it is, in fact, a necessary thing. But it is about righteous judgements, those that are in right alignment with the situation. When I am in error I ask for forgiveness quickly with a heart of goodwill.