Angela Y. Davis to lecture “The Meaning of Freedom”

Don Lierman

Angela Y. Davis, UM-Flint 2015-16 Myron and Margaret Winegarden Visiting Professor, will present a student lecture, “The Meaning of Freedom,” on Thursday, March 24 from 3-4:30 p.m. at the Riverfront Banquet Center, adjacent to the First Merit Bank Building.

The lecture is based on Davis’ Book, “The Meaning of Freedom and Other Difficult Dialogues.”  Davis, a political icon of the 1960’s, emerged as a counterculture activist of the Communist Party USA. She also had close ties to the Black Panther Party throughout the civil rights movement.

“Her interests include prisoner rights; she founded Critical Resistance, an organization working to abolish the prison-industrial complex. She was a professor (now retired) at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in its History of Consciousness Department and a former director of the university’s feminist studies Department,” Patricia Emenyonu, lecturer with the UM-Flint department of Africana Studies said. “Davis was prosecuted and acquitted on a charges of (murder, kidnapping, and – per New York Times) conspiracy in the 1970 armed take-over of a Marin County, California courtroom.”

Emenyonu said she believes Davis’ lecture will be very insightful.

“I am very excited that she will be on campus,” Emenyonu said.  “As a member of the Africana studies department I was struck by Chapter 10 ‘Recognizing Racism in the Era of Neoliberalism.’ This has such important implications for us in Flint with the current water crisis as well.  UM-Flint in partnership with the community has started the long process of figuring out how to deal with the aftermath of poisoned children and the other most vulnerable members of this town,” Emenyonu said.

“The second very relevant section of that speech discusses the direct connection between racial politics and felon disenfranchisement and what that meant for the 2000 election.  Because 2016 is an election year, I think this issue of the disproportionate numbers of black males in prisons and their disenfranchisement is something that we in Flint need to seriously confront.  Who has access to education and who has access to incarceration?  We are not living in a post-racist society,” Emenyonu said.

For further information regarding the lecture, contact the Women’s Educational Center at 810-237-6648.