Stamped

by

Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

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The fifth and final of the main figures in Stamped, Angela Davis is a renowned antiracist, feminist philosopher and activist. She grew up in Birmingham, Alabama to civil rights activist parents and studied philosophy in Boston, California, France, and Germany during the civil rights movement. Then, a series of controversies engulfed her. California governor Ronald Reagan repeatedly tried to fire her—first, for being a communist, and later, for defending imprisoned Black Power activists. The state even charged her with murder when one of her activist friends attacked a courthouse and got in a shootout with the police. But she defended herself in court and proved her innocence. Since the 1970s, she has vocally supported antiracist movements, prison abolition, and left-wing political struggles. In particular, she has focused on integrating socialism, feminism, and antiracism. For instance, she argues that antiracists have to oppose capitalism and patriarchy in order to achieve their goals. Today, she is a major inspiration for scholars like Kendi and activist movements like #BlackLivesMatter.

Angela Davis Quotes in Stamped

The Stamped quotes below are all either spoken by Angela Davis or refer to Angela Davis. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Little, Brown Books for Young Readers edition of Stamped published in 2020.
Chapter 20 Quotes

King closed the day with what’s probably the most iconic speech of all time—“I Have a Dream.” But there was bad news. W. E. B. Du Bois had died in his sleep the previous day.

Indeed, a younger Du Bois had called for such a gathering, hoping it would persuade millions of White people to love the lowly souls of Black folk. And, yes, the older Du Bois had chosen another path—the antiracist path less traveled—toward forcing millions to accept the equal souls of Black folk. It was the path of civil disobedience that the young marchers […] had desired for the March on Washington, a path a young woman from Birmingham’s Dynamite Hill was already traveling and would never leave.

Page Number: 164-165
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 25 Quotes

Angela Davis. She was the conference’s closing speaker. She was certainly the nation’s most famous Black American woman academic. But, more important, over the course of her career, she had consistently defended Black women, including those Black women who even some Black women did not want to defend. She had been arguably America’s most antiracist voice over the past two decades, unwavering in her search for antiracist explanations when others took the easier and racist way of Black blame.

Related Characters: Jason Reynolds (speaker), Angela Davis
Page Number: 216-217
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 28 Quotes

Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi founded #BlackLivesMatter as a direct response to racist backlash in the form of police brutality. From the minds and hearts of these three Black women—two of whom are queer—this declaration of love intuitively signified that in order to truly be antiracists, we must also oppose all the sexism, homophobia, colorism, ethnocentrism, nativism, cultural prejudice, and class bias teeming and teaming with racism to harm so many Black lives. […] In reaction to those who acted as if Black male lives mattered the most, antiracist feminists boldly demanded of America to #SayHerName, to shine light on the women who have also been affected by the hands and feet of racism. Perhaps they, the antiracist daughters of Davis, should be held up as symbols of hope, for taking potential and turning it into power. More important, perhaps we should all do the same.

Related Characters: Jason Reynolds (speaker), Angela Davis
Page Number: 242-243
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Stamped LitChart as a printable PDF.
Stamped PDF

Angela Davis Character Timeline in Stamped

The timeline below shows where the character Angela Davis appears in Stamped. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 21: When Death Comes
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
History and the Present Theme Icon
In 1963, a college student named Angela Davis learned that a church bombing in her hometown, Birmingham, had just killed four of her... (full context)
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
History and the Present Theme Icon
Power, Profit, and Privilege Theme Icon
...exist. Black Americans and activists like Malcolm X questioned whether the bill would do anything. Angela Davis agreed. Why would a racist government enforce antiracist laws? (full context)
Chapter 22: Black Power
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
History and the Present Theme Icon
...rebellion. Black people in Los Angeles’s Watts neighborhood rebelled in response to police violence. Meanwhile, Angela Davis heading to Germany to study philosophy, and in Denmark, scholars were holding a conference about... (full context)
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
History and the Present Theme Icon
How Racist Ideas Spread Theme Icon
...social change (like better jobs, housing, and education) and organizing social programs around the country. Angela Davis moved back to the U.S. and started a Black Student Union at UC-San Diego. Across... (full context)
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
History and the Present Theme Icon
How Racist Ideas Spread Theme Icon
...Latinx activists. But the Black Power movement had its faults. For instance, it was sexist. Angela Davis felt that Black Power didn’t take her seriously as a woman. Instead, she joined the... (full context)
Chapter 23: Murder Was the Case
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
History and the Present Theme Icon
How Racist Ideas Spread Theme Icon
Meanwhile, California governor Ronald Reagan fired Angela Davis from her teaching job at UCLA because she was a communist. This caused a national... (full context)
Chapter 25: The Soundtrack of Sorrow and Subversion
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
Power, Profit, and Privilege Theme Icon
...to the Supreme Court. When Anita Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment, Congress persecuted her. Angela Davis was furious. She had just become a professor at UC-Santa Cruz and finally quit the... (full context)
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
History and the Present Theme Icon
At the same time, scholars like Angela Davis were meeting at an M.I.T. conference on Black women’s issues. In her speech, Davis boldly... (full context)
Chapter 26: A Million Strong
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
Power, Profit, and Privilege Theme Icon
How Racist Ideas Spread Theme Icon
...racism or the government. Hoping to one-up the Republicans, Democrats tried and failed to get Angela Davis fired again. (full context)
Chapter 28: A Miracle and Still a Maybe
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
History and the Present Theme Icon
Power, Profit, and Privilege Theme Icon
How Racist Ideas Spread Theme Icon
...criticisms with a mix of assimilationism and antiracism—and then he won the presidency. It was Angela Davis ’s first vote for one of the two major parties. Black Americans were overjoyed by... (full context)
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
History and the Present Theme Icon
Power, Profit, and Privilege Theme Icon
How Racist Ideas Spread Theme Icon
...and injustice. With the help of social media, #BlackLivesMatter protests spread around the U.S. Like Angela Davis , who is one of their greatest influences, these antiracist feminists show how people can... (full context)