It is always intriguing when the controversies of the past flow into those of the present. Our society also constantly thrives off of a I told you I could do it story. Prominent Professor Angela Davis is one of these stories.
“It is always intriguing when the controversies of the past flow into those of the present. Our society also constantly thrives off of a I told you I could do it story. Prominent Professor Angela Davis is one of these stories.
Controversy has come to The University of Akron in the form of Professor Angela Davis. Like many professors, Davis has vast degrees and is a very educated woman. However she is distinguished in her personal history, not just her study of said history. Professor Davis is currently a Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness (which is an interdisciplinary program) as well as a Professor of Feminist Studies. These academic achievements are impressive on their own, however there is much more to this professor. Professor Davis was also a very active civil rights activist along with a member of the Black Panther party. Another important thing to consider with this distinguished professor is not only her work as an activist but how she went about achieving this goal of equality. Davis is infamous for her violent approach. She was even on the FBI’s ten most wanted list after spending eighteen months in prison for her activities with the civil rights movement. (www.speakoutnow.org)
Throughout our early education, we are taught of the civil rights movement as a peaceful protest. The peaceful protests done by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. were not the only kind being done at the time however. Groups like the Black Panthers often took an approach which shocked the nation because of its violence. Violence is definitely one way to attract a lot of attention very quickly, but is this right? The obvious answer to this would be to say no, however the past shows us that even though we know this, it is not the course that we take. The extreme measures are the most memorable and should not be forgotten since. These acts spring from an individual or a group’s passion and express the most powerful emotions in an explosive act. Davis may be considered an extremist in this sense, but does it not show her passion for what she believes along with her devotedness to achieving what she believes to be right.
Professor Davis not only was an active civil rights advocate, but has become an advocate for the rights of all facing inequality. Though a seemingly normal transition, it shows her desire for equality. Equality is often overlooked in modern society, especially by our generation. Peers say that they don’t think there is really inequality around anymore, but that is plain old ignorance speaking. Inequality seems to be a constant factor in each generation, it simply shifts from one group to the next. Our nation has moved from one culture to the next, oppressing and calling for the renewal of their rights.
Professor Davis has openly talked about her efforts to provide equality to all which links to her degree as a Professor of Feminist Studies. Unlike the many common stereotypes, feminism is actually defined by www.merriam-webster.com as the theory of political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. Feminism, by this definition, is not all about women being superior to men or bra burning. No, it is about equality to all people from all kinds of oppression. This is the definition of the educated.
To hear that people on this campus are angered by Professor Angela Davis coming to UA is very disheartening because I can see nothing wrong with her message. The message of equality is not one that anyone should scoff at, that is the path to ignorance. Though violent protest is not the way to handle social issues, the passionate cries of those protesting need to be heard. We should create a world where no one needs to resort to violence to be heard, especially concerning issues like equality that are for us all.