Angela Davis is a political activist, educator, and writer who became an international public figure during the Civil Rights movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. A member of the Black Panther Party and the Communist Party, she gave impassioned speeches against the Vietnam War and injustices against African-Americans and other minority groups. She was arrested in 1970 for alleged involvement in the death of a prison guard, and her imprisonment and trial generated international attention and protest. She was acquitted of all charges. Davis, who was born and raised in Birmingham, currently teaches at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In this portrait, words from her speeches, including STRUGGLE, RESIST, BLACK, BEAUTIFUL, and REVOLUTION swirl around her, and emanate from her hair.
The artist, Wadsworth Jarrell, was co-founder of the AfriCOBRA movement, which formed in Chicago in the late 1960s. This collective of African-American artists sought to create a visual aesthetic that embodied principles and elements of the Black Power Movement.