Influential Black Women
In the 1970s Angela Davis, the political activist and intellectual, came into the spotlight as an outspoken advocate for social change. The 1963 Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing that took the lives of four black children occurred in Davis's hometown of Birmingham. This bombing as well as other incidents of racially motivated murder spurned Davis into speaking out for social change and she quickly became a figurehead for prisoners' rights and racial equality. In the early 1970s Davis was famously arrested and tried for kidnapping and murder. An international campaign to "Free Angela Davis" ensued, and she was found not guilty in 1972 after sixteen months of incarceration. Today Davis continues to lecture about various types of oppression found in the United States and abroad. She currently teaches in the esteemed History of Consciousness program at the University of California, Santa Cruz.