Angela Davis – Biography, Education, Children And Family Facts

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Angela Davis is one of the few American women who made laudable impacts in several capacities that she served in her country. She is a writer of several books, a political activist, an educator, and a communist who worked together with the party until 1991 when she left.

In her active years, Angela identified with numerous bodies and movements, including the Black Panther Party. As an educator, she lectured in a slew of prominent universities and was the founder of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism. She also made appearances on several media platforms and granted interviews to the media on a lot of issues affecting the society. To her credit, Angela was among those who established the organization, Critical Resistance. Find out more about her here.

Angela Davis – Biography

The activist was born Angela Yvonne Davis, on the 26th day of January 1944, in the city of Birmingham, Alabama, in the United States. Davis was raised in the “Dynamite Hill” neighborhood but occasionally visited her uncle’s farm in New York City.

Her parents Sallye Bell Davis and Frank Davis are also to her siblings – Fania Davis (sister), Reginald Davis (brother), and Ben Davis (brother). Ben is a retired NFL player whose career in the league lasted for ten years.

While growing up, Angela’s intellectual development was significantly influenced by communist thinkers and loyalists. In fact, her mother was the chief organizer and a national officer of the Communist Party-inspired organization, Southern Youth Congress. In her younger age, she was also a member of the Girl Scouts of the United States of America, a group she said inspired her involvement in politics. As a Girl Scout, Angela Davis was among those who protested against racial discrimination in Birmingham and also took part in the Girl Scouts 1959 national roundup which took place in the city of in Colorado.


Davis began her academic journey at a segregated non-white elementary school known as Carrie A. Tuggle School, after which she was admitted to a middle-school called Parker Annex.

Angela Davis thereafter began studying at Elisabeth Irwin High School in Greenwich Village. While there, she was picked by an American Friends Service Committee (Quaker) program that placed black students from the South in integrated schools in the North. This was during her junior year of high school. It was while she was at Elisabeth Irwin that she joined Advance (a Communist youth group).

Following her graduation from high school, the activist won a scholarship to Waltham, Massachusetts-based institution of higher learning, Brandeis University. Remarkably, she and two other students were the only black students in her class at the time.

Angela decided to switch to French in her second year at the university. This necessitated her to join the Hamilton College Junior Year in France Program. While she was close to completing her degree in French, she discovered she had developed a penchant for Philosophy. She later did graduate work in her newfound course at the University of Frankfurt, from where she passed out magna cum laude in the year 1965.

Two years after she left Frankfurt, Angela Davis joined the University of California, San Diego for postgraduate work. She graduated with a master’s degree in the year 1968 and later obtained a doctorate in philosophy from the East Berlin-based institution, Humboldt University.

Turning down offers by Swarthmore University and Princeton University, the author decided to lecture as an acting assistant professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). This was in early 1969. As a lecturer in the philosophy department, Davis was famed as one of the radical feminists and activists around. She also got involved in other activities and eventually became an ally of the Black Panther Party and then a member of the Communist Party USA.

She was fired from her post in 1969 for identifying with the Communist Party by the Board of Regents of the University of California and was later reabsorbed. However, her career at the institution abruptly ended in 1970.

From 1980 to 1984, Angela Davis worked at the San Francisco State University as a Professor of Ethnic Studies and later at the University of California as a professor in the Feminist Studies and History of Consciousness Departments. She also had stints at other universities. She received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in Healing and Social Justice on 22nd May 2016, during the California Institute of Integral Studies’ 48th annual commencement ceremony.

Family Facts: Children 

Angela Davis was once a married woman. She got married for the first time to a popular photographer called Hilton Braithwaite. They tied the knot in 1980 and divorced three years later.

The scholar also has a daughter named Elenni Davis-Knight. Like Hilton, nothing is known about Elenni. The name of her father, her birth details, and information about her personal life is still a mystery. Based on certain information online, Angela Davis came out as a lesbian in 1997 in Out magazine. Apart from the information provided, nothing else is known about her family and children.

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