Angela Davis On The Prison Industrial Complex, Political Prisoners and Much More

Today we begin with excerpts of From The Vault #0459 – a quick montage of recordings that Pacifica Radio Recorded of Angela Davis from 1969 to The Wall Street Occupy Movement in 2011, then a longer recording of a February 23, 2015 conversation between Professor Angela Davis and the University of Southern California’s Dr. Michele Turner at an event entitled Angela Davis: A Lifetime of Revolution

February 23 is an important date. On this day in 1968 W.E.B Dubois’ was born. It’s also the day in 1972 a humble dairy farmer from Fresno California put up his farm so that Angela Davis could make bail on three felony charges that a jury would eventually return a not guilty verdict. and on this day in 2015, The University of Southern California’s Black Student Assembly and Speakers Committee together with a litany of USC group cosponsors hosted American political activist, scholar, and author Angela Davis.

A full house of 1500 students and educators gathered in USC’s Bovard Auditorium to listen to Professor Davis trace her experiences growing up in Alabama, packing her bags to find Freedom outside the South, and realizing this was a much bigger issue than Geography.

Dr. Michele Turner guides the conversation to address many of the important moments in Angela Davis’s life including her childhood, her early days teaching at UCLA, her arrest in the early 1970’s, the Free Angela Davis Campaign, and her current work illuminating root causes of the Prison Industrial Complex which disproportionately incarcerates men and women of color.

Our hour will close with parts of a speech Angela Davis gave about prisons at the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Harlem in early 2004. This was recorded and edited by Dred-Scott Keyes

Topics covered by Dr. Davis include her history, her comments about political prisoners and her opinion that we do not have a color blind society. Dr. Davis advocates for the abolition of the death penalty and in fact the need to make prisons smaller rather than larger. She offers us alternatives to prison that include free education.

The JoJR Calendar for the week of May 27th

The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls is sponsoring a postcard campaign to all 50 Governors urging them to use their clemency power to release women incarcerated in their state who are elderly, criminalized survivors of violence, enduring sentences of more than 10 years, and/or living with long-term or life-threatening illnesses, and all girls incarcerated in juvenile detention centers. If you would like to find out more about this campaign and how you can send postcards to the Governor of your state.

National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls
Website – https://www.nationalcouncil.us/

Sample Script –

Dear Governor [ ], I urge you to use your clemency power to release women incarcerated in our state who are elderly, criminalized survivors of violence, enduring sentences of more than 10 years, and/or living with long-term or life-threatening illnesses, and all girls incarcerated in juvenile detention centers. Meaningful criminal justice reform must include clemency. #FreeHer.

Info for postcards to Governor –
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf5XY2QZoybVTxndgDjebzBl-HlbhKEgMvwDE2BV0aN5RjWkQ/viewform

Send postcards to –
Office of Governor Michael L. Parson
P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102

Phone: (573) 751-3222
Fax: (573) 751-1495

Send postcards to Governor of Kansas –

Office of Governor Laura Kelly
Capitol, 300 SW 10th Ave., Ste. 241S
Topeka, KS 66612-1590

Toll Free: 877-KSWORKS (877-579-6757)
Local: 785-296-3232