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The Angela Y. Davis Reader

The Angela Y. Davis Reader

Joy James (Editor)

ISBN: 978-0-631-20361-2

Dec 1998, Wiley-Blackwell

380 pages

Select type: Paperback

In Stock



For three decades, Angela Y. Davis has written on liberation theory and democratic praxis. Challenging the foundations of mainstream discourse, her analyses of culture, gender, capital, and race have profoundly influenced democratic theory, antiracist feminism, critical studies and political struggles.

Even for readers who primarily know her as a revolutionary of the late 1960s and early 1970s (or as a political icon for militant activism) she has greatly expanded the scope and range of social philosophy and political theory. Expanding critical theory, contemporary progressive theorists - engaged in justice struggles - will find their thought influenced by the liberation praxis of Angela Y. Davis.

The Angela Y. Davis Reader presents eighteen essays from her writings and interviews which have appeared in If They Come in the Morning, Women, Race, and Class, Women, Culture, and Politics, and Black Women and the Blues as well as articles published in women's, ethnic/black studies and communist journals, and cultural studies anthologies. In four parts - "Prisons, Repression, and Resistance", "Marxism, Anti-Racism, and Feminism", "Aesthetics and Culture", and recent interviews - Davis examines revolutionary politics and intellectualism.

Davis's discourse chronicles progressive political movements and social philosophy. It is essential reading for anyone interested in contemporary political philosophy, critical race theory, social theory, ethnic studies, American studies, African American studies, cultural theory, feminist philosophy, gender studies.



Part I: Prisons, Repression, and Resistance:.

1. Excerpts from Angela Davis: an Autobiography.

2. Political Prisoners, Prisons and Black Liberation.

3. Unfinished Lecture on Liberation - II.

4. Race and Criminalization: Black Americans and the Punishment Industry.

Part II: Marxism, Anti-Racism and Feminism:.

5. Reflections on the Black Woman's Role in the Community of Slaves.

6. Rape, Racism, and the Capitalist Setting.

7. Violence Against Women and the Ongoing Challenge to Racism.

8. Joanne Little: The Dialectics of Rape.

9. Women and Capitalism: Dialectics of Oppression and Liberation.

10. The Approaching Obsolescence of Housework: A Working-Class Perspective.

11. Outcast Mothers and Surrogates: Racism and Reproductive Politics in the Nineties.

12. Black Women and the Academy.

Part III: Aesthetics and Culture:.

13. For a People's Culture.

14. I Used To Be Your Sweet Mama: Ideology, Sexuality and Domesticity.

15. Photography and Afro-American History.

16. Afro Images: Politics, Fashion, and Nostalgia.

17. Meditations on the Legacy of Malcolm X.

18. Black Nationalism: The Sixties and the Nineties.

Part IV: Interviews: .

19. Coalition Building Among People of Color: A Discussion With Angela Y. Davis and Elizabeth Martinez.

20. Reflections on Race, Class, and Gender in the USA.

Appendix: Opening Defense Statement Presented By Angela Y. Davis in Santa Clara County Superior Court March 29, 1972.

Selected Bibliography.


"Over the past thirty years Angela Davis has stood as a courageous voice of conscience on matters of race, class, and gender in America. Since her imprisonment in the early 1970s hers has been a voice of principle on behalf of the rights of the incarcerated. Joy James has provided a great service in pulling together and making accessible for the first time in a single volume Angela Davis's seminal writings, revealing at once the considerable range of her insightful intellectual contributions across politics, philosophy, and culture." David Theo Goldberg, Arizona State University


"Although Davis's writing in the Reader is at times flat and workmanlike, the anthology gradually reveals her humanistic vision in wonderful gestures and acute observations" Phillip M. Richards

"This collection refutes that often-heard statement – that it is impossible today to be both a true intellectual and a true activist. Everyone who is concerned with the life if the mind as it illuminates the struggle for social justice will be provoked, even inspired, by these writings." – Barbara T. Christian, Professor of African-American Studies, University of Californa, Berkeley

"Angela Davis has stood as a courageous voice of conscience on matters of race, class, and gender in America. Joy James has provided a great service in pulling together and making accessible for the first time in a single volume Angela Davis’s seminal writings." – David Theo Goldberg, Arizona State University

"Long before ‘race/gender’ became the obligatory injunction it is now, Angela Davis was developing an analytical framework that brought all of these factors into play. For readers who only see Angela Davis as a public icon, welcome to this remarkable book and meet the real Angela Davis: perhaps the leading public intellectual of our era." – Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Yo’ Mama’s DisFunktional!: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America (1997)

"A truly inspiring collection. Angela Davis offers a cartography of engagement in oppositional social movements and unwavering commitment to justice." – Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Women’s Studies, Hamilton College

* The only anthology of its kind.
* Includes both previously published articles and essays as well as unpublished speeches and writings.
* Includes an introduction, bibliography, and chronology of political activism.