More than 40 years since she was placed on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list, Angela Davis’ image still causes a stir. Her face is one of eight used for a poster to honor black women in a D.C. Superior Court building. The “Black Women Paving the Way to Greatness in Politics” poster includes the likes of Fannie Lou Hamer, Condoleezza Rice and first lady Michelle Obama. Critics have raised questions about honoring Davis, given her history and controversial image. The Washington Times reports:
“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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