Interview: Angela Davis on Trump, Obama and France

Veteran US civil rights activist, feminist, academic and writer Angela Davis, a prominent communist militant in the 1960s associated with the Black Panther movement, talks here to Mediapart about the election of Donald Trump, the presidency of Barack Obama, and why she believes France’s secular principles have become “a weapon against Muslims”.

Mediapart’s Jade Lindgaard and Carine Fouteau interviewed Angela Davis in Paris on November 25th, when the 72-year-old was a guest speaker at a conference in Paris on the subject of “American society and the election of Donald Trump”.

The conference was organised by the director of New York University’s Institute of Afro-American Affairs, Manthia Diawara, and French anthropologist Nicole Lapierre, a research director with the French National Centre for Scientific Research, in a partnership between NYU, the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme and the Institut du Tout-Monde.

Davis, whose academic career began in 1969, and who was a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz with the departments of the History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies, became a leading figure in the civil rights movement in the US during the 1960s.

She was jailed in 1971 for her alleged part in a fatal courtroom hostage-taking in California, but was acquitted in 1972. Davis had been an outspoken supporter of three black inmates accused of killing a prison guard, one of whose brother’s led the siege in a bid to secure their freedom. She became a founder of Critical Resistance, a grassroots movement campaigning for carceral reform.

She has authored numerous books, notably Women Class and Race (1983), Blues Legacies and Black Feminism (1999) and Are Prisons Obsolete? (2003).

Click the screen below to run the interview with Mediapart (in English with French subtitles).

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