University of Hawai'i
(808) 956-8856 Telephone
For Immediate Release:
January 27, 1998
Haunani-Kay Trask, Center for Hawaiian Studies, 808-973-0989
Donnë Florence, PIO, 808-956-7522
Angela Davis leads off UH lecture series Feb. 12
African American series will also bring Ishmael Reed, Alice Walker to UH
Angela Davis, the internationally known social and political activist who is now a professor in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will speak Thursday, Feb. 12, in the Campus Center Ballroom at UH Manoa. Davis's talk, "Racism in the Criminal Justice System," is scheduled for 78:30 p.m. Her visit is sponsored by the Center for Hawaiian Studies. Admission is free.
Davis is the first guest in an African American Curriculum Series, supported in part by a diversity grant from the UH President's office. The series, which begins during Black History Month and ends in Women's History Month, will also bring authors Ishmael Reed and Alice Walker to the UH Manoa campus. Plans for the lecture series are managed by UH Civil Rights Counselor Jill Nunokawa.
In addition to the Center for Hawaiian Studies and the African American Curriculum Task Force, co-sponsors for Davis's talk include the Associated Students of UH, the President's Committee on Diversity and Equity, the Campus Center Activities Council Culture Committee, the Student Activity and Program Fee Board and Kalai Po.
Angela Davis's interest in prisoners' rights dates back to her involvement in the campaign to free the Soledad Brothers, African American prisoners held in California's Soledad Prison in the late 1960s. Those efforts led to her own arrest and 16-month imprisonment until she was acquitted in 1972. In the 25 years since then, Davis has lectured in all 50 U.S. states, as well as in Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and the former Soviet Union, honing her critique of racism in the criminal justice system. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Prison Activist Resource Center and is working on a comparative study of women's imprisonment in the U.S., the Netherlands and Cuba.
Davis's visit to UH coincides with the publication of her latest book, Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday, which is due out in February. (Four of her earlier books will be available for purchase at the Feb. 12 event.) An anthology of her writings, The Angela Y. Davis Reader, will be published later this spring.
Ishmael Reed, a novelist, critic, poet and essayist, taught at the University of California, Berkeley, for more than 20 years. He visited UH Manoa in 1994 as part of Summer Session's "African American Visions" humanities institute. His novels include Japanese by Spring and The Last Days of Louisiana Red. Reed will speak at noon, Feb. 26, in the UHM School of Architecture Auditorium and on Feb. 27 at UH Hilo.
Alice Walker, the noted "womanist" writer and poet, is the author of The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult, which deals partly with the filming of one of her earlier novels, The Color Purple. She will speak March 11, 45:30 p.m. at UH Manoa.