From Counterculture Revolutionary To Elder Statesperson of the Resistancecsudhbulletin February 21, 2019 1 COMMENT
By Liliana Ulloa
Thunderous cheering reverberated through the California State University, Dominguez Hills gymnasium Monday, Feb. 11, as a standing-room-only crowd watched one of the most outspoken activists of her generation, Dr. Angela Y. Davis, make her way to the podium as part of the Dymally Distinguished Speaker Series celebrating Black History Month.
By the time Davis took her place, every seat was full, and so people chose to sit on the floor or cram along the gym’s perimeter for the chance to hear the world-renowned activist, educator
Davis’ speech was less about her past and the struggles and accomplishments of the 1960s counterculture, than it was about inspiring the current generation of college students to speak out and combat issues ranging from racism and sexism, to the plight of migrants and refugees and America’s prison-industrial complex.
She began by recalling when blacks didn’t have a month to reflect on black issues. They didn’t have one, she
She also unapologetically challenged those who use Black History Month as an opportunity to argue for “White History,” indicting that sentiment as more evidence of America’s collective blackout when it comes to facing memories of the past, and present realities, that run counter to the established narrative.
“Black history does not belong to Black people
The amnesia that has afflicted the U.S conscience for decades and centuries.”
Just as Black History can inform America about itself, it can also help forge solidarity with those who dream of a better life by risking everything to come here, Davis said.
“Black struggles are linked to the struggles of migrants and refugees,” said Davis. “If for example, we recognize that the vast numbers of migrants all over the planet who are moving from their homelands to places that represent hope to them, it is because they have learned that movement is possible.”
As faces of all shades of color and ages listened, Davis also urged the crowd to examine a type of feminism that she is a chief articulate
“This is a feminism that challenges racism” she said. “That is anti-capitalist. Feminism that recognizes the weight of history, that urges the abolition of structures responsible for racism and misogyny.”
Davis was invited to speak by the Mervyn Dymally African-American Political & Economic Institute in association with Associated Students, Inc., and the Department of Africana Studies.
Dr. Donna Nicol, that department’s chair, said part of the reason for inviting Davis was to “memorialize” the 50-year anniversary of her being fired from UCLA for being a Communist. But just as important as her historical status, Nicol said, is how relevant Davis remains for many contemporary college students.
“We also wanted to bring her in to bring inspiration to students who might feel in this current political climate that it’s more difficult for them to speak out particularly on campuses,” Nicol said.
Nicol also said that she noticed many people in the crowd were not affiliated with CSUDH, one more reason why Davis was an ideal choice to bring to campus.
“[CSUDH] boasts that it has the largest African-American [student body) in the CSU, but with