Interview with Angela Davis
QUESTION 14
INTERVIEWER:

What was the response that you heard and what was the discussion around those issues?

ANGELA DAVIS:

Well--

INTERVIEWER:

Let's just wait for this to pass.

INTERVIEWER:

What was the response to those?

ANGELA DAVIS:

Well, they couldn't understand what George Jackson had against his mother for example. And, you know, why is it that, ah, Black women are being held responsible for, a, a system of oppression that emanates from, ah, people who are wealthy, from, you know, White men, ah, the ruling class. And of course this was very intentional. I, I think that, ah, George later realized as a result of a correspondence that I carried on with him and, and as a result of discussion with other people, ah, that he had unwittingly accepted ideas that were designed to create that kind of division within the community. And that, as a matter of fact, ah, Black women were playing extremely important roles. The Civil Rights Movement would not have been what it was without the roles of, of Fannie Lou Hamer and Daisy Bates and Ella Baker and Ruby Doris Robinson and Jo Ann Robinson and we can go on and on and on. So that the women in, in the jail in New York had the same reaction that I did which confirmed my own, ah, criticism of George's notions of, ah, Black women. And I should say that, ah, George changed. He began to critically examine his acceptance of ideas that emanated with the government. The Moynihan Report for example which was published in 1965. And eventually he did, ah, agree that he had been influenced in a very negative way by these ideas and that women should play equal roles in the community and Black mothers should not be held responsible. Black mothers who, who care for their sons and their daughters should not be, ah, held responsible, ah, for, ah, preventing or should not be accused of preventing their sons, ah, from being warriors in the struggle for Black liberation. Because Black women have done a lot of those, ah, battles themselves.