The DC Public Library (DCPL) is hosting a discussion next week with Angela Davis, a former Communist Party member and FBI fugitive.
Davis, who was an active member of the Black Panther Party and the Communist Party of the United States of America, will address a sold-out crowd at the Martin Luther King Jr. on March 15. Memorial Library, DCPL’s taxpayer-funded central facility.
Davis, 78, an abolitionist who rose to prominence in the 1960s and 1970s, was charged with murder, kidnapping and criminal conspiracy in 1970 after authorities linked her to the purchase of guns later used by three inmates, which a judge and juror held hostage during their trial for killing a prison officer.
Law enforcement officers responded with a barrage of bullets, and the prisoners and judge died. Davis was charged with supplying weapons used in the incident and was placed on the FBI list until she was captured in 1972. She spent 16 months in prison before being cleared of all charges.
Angela Davis speaks at Mills College on October 23, 1969. (Duke Downey/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
‘SQUAD’ LAWMAKER PRAISES FORMER COMMUNIST PARTY MEMBER ANGELA DAVIS
Davis has since written ten books and has become a leading activist of the abolitionist movement, which seeks to abolish US police and prisons. In 1997, she co-founded Critical Resistance, a national organization seeking to dismantle what she describes as the industrial prison complex.
The DCPL’s event description for next week’s “conversation” with Davis makes no mention of her past ties to the Communist and Black Panther parties.
Activist and writer Angela Davis (PBS)
“Through her activism and scholarship over many decades, Angela Davis has been deeply involved in social justice movements around the world,” the statement said. description of the event is reading. “Her work as an educator — both at the university level and in the larger public sphere — has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender justice.”
“Like many educators, Professor Davis is particularly concerned about the general tendency to devote more resources and attention to the prison system than to educational institutions,” it says. “Having helped popularize the idea of a ‘prison-industrial complex’, she now urges her audience to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons and to help forge a movement for the abolition of the death penalty in the 21st century.”
Angela Davis (center) on social justice during the May Day demonstrations along Market Street, Saturday, May 1, 2021, in San Francisco, California. (Santiago Mejia/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
The event is part of the DCPL’s recognition of Women’s History Month.
The library told Fox News Digital in an email that Davis would focus on her “scholarship” during the event, “highlighting the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial and gender justice.”
DC Public Library is committed to intellectual freedom and the exchange of ideas. “We recognize that some may agree with those ideas and others may not. While the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the library, the library, as a safe space free from judgment and censorship, is the ideal place to express all ideas …whether through readings, books in the collection, or community discussions. We welcome all individuals to participate in our programs and collections, and we encourage them to draw their own conclusions and make their own decisions about what they read and to attend.”
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“The library receives feedback on a range of programs it hosts, both positive and negative,” the spokesperson added. “We should note that our customers requested tickets for this particular event as soon as they became available, indicating their strong interest in hearing from Professor Davis.”
Fox News’ Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.
Jessica Chasmar is a digital writer on the Fox News and Fox Business political team. Story tips can be sent to [email protected]