Newly 76, Angela Davis has made a heroine of herself through her pioneering of black activism and years of continued activism for women’s rights, human rights and peace.
Written and published in the 80s, “Women Culture Politics” is a treatise to the Afro-American female role in political culture. In this collection, Davis portrays the same conviction and power that supported her role in the formation of the Black Panther Party. The essays condemn capitalism, nuclear weapons, homophobia and the unstable health care system. Her arguments serve as a reminder of the radicalism we left behind in the 60s and 70s and the everlasting need for change in the U.S.
In an essay titled, “Women in the 1980s,” Davis indicts the Reagan administration for its racist and sexist policies. She states, “While chipping away at the achievements of the women’s movement thus far, the Reagan administration simultaneously conducted concerted attacks on the Labor Movement and on the rights of Afro-Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asians and Pacific Islanders.” She highlights the activism that was needed but was missing. The hype and elation from 60s and 70s civil rights activism resulted in a drought of activism for women, minorities and peace during the 80s.
In the essay, “The Politics of Black Women’s Health,” Davis explains how politics permeate our personal lives. “Politics do not stand in popular opposition to our lives. Whether we desire it or not, they permeate our existence, insinuating themselves into the most private spaces of our lives.”
These essays remain timeless, and although we reside in a different century, the issues remain the same. Likewise, so do Davis’s ideologies, still ringing with reform and empowerment.