On February 13, 2018, the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, with support from the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University which supports multidisciplinary research on the history and culture of people of African descent and provides a forum for collaboration and the ongoing exchange of ideas and works to stimulate scholarly engagement in African and African American Studies both at Harvard and beyond, and to increase public awareness and understanding of this vital field of study through both established and emerging channels of inquiry in the humanities and the social sciences announced its acquisition of the papers of the political activist and pioneering feminist thinker Dr. Angela Y. Davis.
Davis's political activism began in childhood in Birmingham, Alabama, and continued through her high school years in New York. As an undergraduate at Brandeis University, she began studying with the philosopher and social theorist Herbert Marcuse, who also supervised her graduate work at the University of California, San Diego. A cosmopolitan intellectual, Davis studied at the Sorbonne, Goethe University Frankfurt, as well as Humboldt University in East Berlin. In 1969, at the very beginning of her teaching career, she came to national attention when she was removed from her assistant professorship in the philosophy department at UCLA as a result of her social activism and her membership in the Communist Party USA.
Davis continued her career as a thinker and educator in the University of California system. She is the author of many books, including Angela Davis: An Autobiography (1974), a key text of the Black radical tradition; and Women, Race, and Class (1983), a pioneering work in intersectional and Marxist feminisms. The collection acquired by the Schlesinger includes early drafts of these works edited by Davis's longtime friend Toni Morrison. Davis's recent scholarship has included books on Black feminism and the blues tradition, a new edition of the Narrative of Frederick Douglass, and essay collections on freedom struggles from Ferguson to Cuba to Palestine. Now a professor emerita in the departments of history of consciousness and feminist studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Davis continues to lecture nationally and globally as an advocate of prison abolition and racial justice.
Angela Y. Davis is one of the foremost figures in the...