Rad­i­cal’s por­trait not en­dorse­ment of her views, D.C. court says

The Washington Times Daily - - Nation - BY TOM HOW­ELL JR.

The D.C. Su­pe­rior Court says a court­house dis­play on in­flu­en­tial black women in­cluded An­gela Davis for her “con­tri­bu­tions to the po­lit­i­cal de­bate” and should not be viewed as an en­dorse­ment of her views or as a state­ment on ac­cu­sa­tions she was in­volved in a Cal­i­for­nia kid­nap­ping 40 years ago.

Ms. Davis was ac­cused of own­ing firearms that were used to kid­nap and kill Judge Harold Ha­ley in Marin County, Calif., in 1970. A re­port in the New York Times on her ar­rest about two months later at a Howard John­son ho­tel in Man­hat­tan de­scribed her as a “young black mil­i­tant” who for­merly worked as an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of phi­los­o­phy at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at Los An­ge­les.

She was never ac­cused of be­ing at the scene of the crime and was ac­quit­ted of kid­nap­ping and mur­der charges at trial.

At the court­house, she is de­picted along­side the likes of first lady Michelle Obama, for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Con­doleezza Rice and Carol Mose­ley Braun, the first black fe­male U.S. se­na­tor.

“Court em­ploy­ees on the Black His­tory Month Com­mit­tee cre­ated a poster with pho­tos of fa­mous African-amer­i­can women in­volved in pol­i­tics and in­cluded pro­fes­sor Davis be­cause they be­lieve she made con­tri­bu­tions to the po­lit­i­cal de­bate,” D.C. Su­pe­rior Court spokes­woman Leah Gurowitz said. “The D.C. courts do not en­dorse the views of any of the women in­cluded in the poster.”

Ms. Davis’ re­cent work has fo­cused on in­car­cer­a­tion and its ef­fect on mi­nor­ity pop­u­la­tions and the poor.

She is listed as a pro­fes­sor emerita at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at Santa Cruz.

Her bi­og­ra­phy on the univer­sity’s web­site says Ms. Davis’ ac­tivism be­gan dur­ing her youth in Birm­ing­ham, Ala., but rose to “na­tional at­ten­tion” in 1969, when she was re­moved from her teach­ing po­si­tion at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia at Los An­ge­les “as a re­sult of her so­cial ac­tivism and her mem­ber­ship in the Com­mu­nist Party, USA.”

“In 1970,” it con­tin­ues, “she was placed on the FBI’S Ten Most Wanted List on false charges, and was the sub­ject of an in­tense po­lice search that drove her un­der­ground and cul­mi­nated in one of the most fa­mous tri­als in re­cent U.S. his­tory.”


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