[an error occurred while processing this directive] George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight | Angela Davis


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Guest Angela Davis

When you talk about civil rights in America, perhaps no woman is as iconic as Angela Davis. In the late '60s and early '70s, Angela was front and centre in the Black Power movement - fighting to end the racism and injustice she'd known all her life.

Davis grew up in Alabama, in the '40s and '50s, a time when blacks were beaten, raped, and murdered by the Ku Klux Klan. In Davis's neighbourhood, the KKK carried out so many bombings it became known as "dynamite hill".

By the late '60s, Davis had earned a doctorate in philosophy, joined the Communist Party and become part of the Black Panthers. She'd also become a supporter of three black men in the Soledad prison accused of killing a white guard. In 1970, during one of their trials, an escape attempt was made and several people were killed, including the judge. Davis was brought up on numerous charges, including murder - because the gun used was registered in her name. She went into hiding, ended up on the FBI's 10 Most-Wanted list and after her arrest, spent nearly 18 months in jail.

That sparked a global campaign to free her. John Lennon wrote the song "Angela" for Davis, while the Rolling Stones recorded "Sweet Black Angel" in tribute to her. Eventually in 1972 she was acquitted by an all-white jury.

But her quest for justice never ended. Today, Davis is a professor, an activist and the author of eight books. She's also the founder of Critical Resistance - a group that wants the U.S. prison system abolished.

At the moment, Davis continues to pursue justice: she is campaigning to prevent the execution of prisoner Troy Davis in Georgia. A national day of support will take place on September 16th in the U.S.

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