Author influences students

Daniel Magalit

Angela Davis is one of the most prominent figures in American history her story, transcends the average activist, feminist and social commentator.

At the University of the Pacific on Feb. 17, her lecture was creative and specific and it inspired an eager audience.

“Being a woman of color, it’s important for me to know the different pioneers for social justice and civil rights,” said Veronica Williams, a Sacramento State ethnic studies major. “Especially women of color who have helped paved the way. Angela Davis has done just that.”

As a scholar, author and retired professor, Davis has done many things to push social injustices and inequalities to the forefront.

“What I care about is equality and justice and freedom for all,” said Davis.

Women’s rights, the prison-industrial-complex and ethnic equality are just a few things that Davis believes are important. Many people, if not most, in the packed auditorium believe the same.

“Just as a human being, you face so many obstacles in the world,” said Laila Shabazz, a Sac State kinesiology major. “[Davis] embodies the strength and resilience I would like to have in my life.”

While reliving the moment, Shabazz got to ask Davis a question, she focused on the impact, being so close to someone she has only read about, had on her. Shabazz stuttered slightly and managed to simply ask for a hug. Davis opened her arms and said, “come here.”

Though Davis focused on many difficult topics in her hour and a half lecture, she connected to the audience through pop-culture, music, history and compassion.

Davis made it clear that she cares about many things and people of all kinds. She left the audience with hope and the knowledge that change is possible if one is willing to put in the work.

“I’ve been through my own trials and tribulations and just seeing [Davis] look in the face of evil and keep going, to see someone overcome so much, [I know] I can get through it,” said Shabazz.

Emotions ran high in the Faye Spanos Concert Hall. Davis talked about the killings of African-American men, children and women.

She connected dots that did not seem connectable and she talked about the things that do not get mentioned. Things like the killings of transgendered men and women and how these things happen because there are not enough people who care to understand others.

“[Davis] is all about academia, all about social activism and all about righting the wrongs of historical inequalities,” said Aisha Engle, a Sac State women’s studies major who attended the lecture in Stockton, Ca.

Change is hard to accept but happens every day. It seems when change happens suddenly or majorly, people react negatively to it. Taking time to think critically about the world around us, one can become more accepting of change when an understanding has been reached.

It would be fair to say, Angela Davis would want us all to question societal ‘norms’ and change what does not seem right.

“You get to read her words and intertwine and weave all those concepts and thoughts and theories and you realize you’re in the presence of someone that has made real change,” said Engle.

Another key note, Davis’ lecture left the audience with was the fact that people have to agree on certain things to get things done.

Although conflict is a catalyst for change, it can also be detrimental to a cause if everyone is not, at least, in similar mind sets.

“The enemy isn’t always out there,” said Davis. “The enemy is often among us.”