How Angela Davis Pioneered the Idea of Intersectionality for Black Liberation, Women, and Queer Folks: EXCERPT

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Pioneering Black, queer, and feminist activist and scholar Angela Davis was profiled in a fantastic piece in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. The profile, written by the legendary Black Journalist Nelson George is a tour-de-force saying of Davis: “Before the world knew what intersectionality was, the scholar, writer and activist was living it, arguing not just for Black liberation, but for the rights of women and queer and transgender people as well.”

Here’s an excerpt: “The consistent theme is a woman both radical and chic. Davis was more likely to be seen than read or heard at the time, but her very existence complicated the white and Black male gaze of what Black women could be. The impact of this representation has lingered in the culture. Consider this: For 50 years, Davis has existed as a pop-cultural reference point as well as a serious academic, one whose ideas were once thought of as extreme but are now part of the popular discourse. Both the Rolling Stones as well as John Lennon and Yoko Ono recorded songs about her in the early ’70s (‘Sweet Black Angel’ and ‘Angela,’ respectively). In 1977, the great Vonetta McGee portrayed a watered-down version of Davis in the little-seen prison drama ‘Brothers,’ based on her relationship with Jackson. Davis’s niece, Eisa, wrote and performed a critically acclaimed autobiographical play, ‘Angela’s Mixtape,’ in 2009 about having a radical star as her aunt. A long-lost jailhouse interview with Davis was the highlight of the 2011 documentary ‘The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975,’ and a year later, the director Shola Lynch’s ‘Free Angela and All Political Prisoners,’ which was executive produced by Jay-Z, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and James Lassiter, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. All of these projects have celebrated, even fetishized, that brief, electric period in Davis’s life.”

Read the full profile here.