Angela Davis is a former Black Panther, was on the FBI’s most wanted list, is a policital activist and retired professor. I love strong women!!
February 23, 1972: ANGELA DAVIS IS FREED!! Just five days before she was due to go on trial for aggravated kidnapping and first degree murder in the death of Judge Harold Haley extending from the Marin County courthouse incident, Angela Davis finally made it to freedom. After 18 months in prison and seemingly endless petitions for bail in and out of state and federal courts, she was released on $102,500 bail.
Rodger McAfee, a dairy farmer from Caruthers, California, paid her bail with the help of Steve Sparacino, a wealthy business owner. Portions of her legal defense expenses were paid for by the Presbyterian Church (UPCUSA).
After spending 18 months behind bars, Davis was acquitted of all charges by an all-white jury. The fact that she owned the guns used in the crime was judged not sufficient to establish her responsibility for the plot. Her experience as a prisoner in the US played a key role in convincing her to fight against the “prison industrial complex” that she says exists in the US.
SUPPORT FOR ANGELA’S FREEDOM:
Across the nation, thousands of people who agreed with her declaration began organizing a liberation movement.
*In New York City, black writers formed a committee called the Black People in Defense of Angela Davis.
*By February 1971 more than 200 local committees in the United States, and 67 in foreign countries worked to liberate Angela Davis from prison. Thanks, in part, to this support, in 1972 the state released her from prison.
*John Lennon and Yoko Ono recorded their song “Angela” on their 1972 album Some Time in New York City in support.
*The jazz musician Todd Cochran, also known as Bayete, recorded his song “Free Angela (Thoughts…and all I’ve got to say)” in 1972.
*Also in 1972, Tribe Records co-founder Phil Ranelin released a song dedicated to Davis intitled “Angela’s Dilemma” on Message From The Tribe, a spiritual jazz collectable.
*The Rolling Stones song “Sweet Black Angel”, recorded in 1970 and released in 1972 on their album Exile on Main Street, is dedicated to Davis and is one of the band’s only overtly political releases.