University of Minnesota features violent former Communist Party/Black Panther leader as a diversity expert
Angela Davis, former Communist Party USA leader and Black Panther, will be delivering a keynote address for the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s (UMD) Summit on Equity, Diversity and Multiculturalism today, according to the school’s website.Davis is most notorious for being charged as an accomplice to a courthouse murder/kidnapping case in August of 1970, which involved the murder of a California judge. Several of the weapons used were registered in her name and she was charged as an accomplice under state law. In the aftermath of the crime, she was put on the FBI’s most wanted list as she fled from arrest.She was captured by the FBI three months later at a motel in the middle of New York City. During her trial, Davis claimed she was innocent, despite evidence that showed she purchased two of the weapons used in the crime. Moreover, Davis was found to have written letters to a man named George Jackson, a Black Panther prison organizer; the kidnappings were meant to gain leverage for his release. The letters Davis wrote expressed romantic feelings for Jackson and support for political violence. However, she was acquitted of all charges in 1972.Davis later ran as the Communist Party USA’s vice-presidential nominee in the 1980 election.Neither the university’s page on the diversity summit nor the summit’s program mention Davis’s involvement in the case or her prior political affiliation.Currently, Davis is spearheading the prison-abolition movement as a founder of a group called Critical Resistance, an organization dedicated to ending “the prison-industrial complex.” Her keynote address, “Education or Incarceration: The Prison Industrial Complex in the 21st Century,” will address the subject.