By Karla Perez (Alas Tensas)
HAVANA TIMES — At 74 years old, Angela Davis is the living and breathing example of the reinvention of feminism. Black and Marxist. A philosopher and professor in Donald Trump’s United States.
Davis’ recent trip to Costa Rica was a well-thought-out event. First of all, she gave a conference at the University of Costa Rica on April 3rd, after the presidential elections had taken place two days before, where the progressive option beat the religious fundamental one. Secondly, the first female Afro-descendant vice-president in Latin American history was elected. Angela came to celebrate all of this and to speak about pending matters within in the region.
Marielle Franco, the Brazilian woman who was murdered in Brazil on March 15th, was one of the subjects that the US woman brought up.
“They said that the black women’s movement represented Brazil’s progressive future. Her (Marielle’s) murder was an attempt to stop the movement she represented,” she said.
Angela’s activism is justified. It’s a personal struggle which she has been involved in for decades and goes beyond just her. In 1969, she was expeled from the University of California, where she taught Philosophy, because of her affiliation to the Communist Party. She was involved with the Black Panther Movement. She was also involved in the “Soledad brothers” case, who she was accused of killing and kidnapping in 1972. This case received global attention, which stopped her from being sentenced.
At the conference, people were reminded that the Black Panthers were mostly made up of women. How we can forget Assata Shakur and others?
“Women have always been the backbone of social justice movements. For those who argued that feminism was obsolete, they didn’t recognize that new movements are appearing and that these new movements aren’t what we once called ‘white feminism’,” noted Davis.
What have we learned?
“From feminism, we have learned that the world isn’t homogeneous, that women aren’t all white, that blacks aren’t all men, and that if we don’t include racial and financial equality, we won’t make progress.”
She also spoke about Emma Gonzalez, the young Cuban-American woman who survived the Parkland shooting and is a protagonist of the anti-gun movement under the slogan “Never Again”.
Referring to Gonzalez, she told us “Leadership isn’t inextricably male; it can be collective and it can be feminine too.”
Angela is energy. Two hours standing in front of a Latin audience giving her a standing ovation. Without hesitating, she centered her speech around the fight against machismo, which is, in fact, against her president’s leadership.
And she ended with the most powerful phrase. “I believe that the Trump era will go down in History as a mere footnote.”