*Some lucky Arizona State University students got a chance to sit down (virtually) with Angela Davis on Thursday.
The legendary civil rights activist and scholar discussed pressing issues affecting the Black community and the role students play in the overall pursuit of racial justice during a virtual panel discussion hosted by the ASU Black African Coalition and Undergraduate Student Government. Other topics included mass incarceration and police brutality.
Davis, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said over-policing and neglect of resources, such as housing and education, are among the causes of mass incarceration that must be recognized in order to dismantle the current system. Real change, however, would come in the form of investment in mental health resources and the abolishment of the prison system.
But Davis added, “I’m getting tired of hearing the same recommendations over and over since I was a child. I can remember this, and nothing has changed. We have to think a bit more capaciously, slightly more radically, about what will be necessary to guarantee that we’re not constantly seeing Black people and Latinx people and poor people whose lives are extinguished by the police.”
Davis warned against getting complacent with any progress that is made.
“One of the lessons we should impart to coming generations is that when your demands are fulfilled, don’t sit back and think that you can rest. Always try to use those victories in order to stage more radical movements,” Davis said. “I think that there’s an enormous amount of hope for young Black people, for young Black leaders.