Review // Angela Davis: An Autobiography

September 25, 2021

Angela Davis: An Autobiography

"The forces that have made my life what it is are the very same forces that have shaped and misshaped the lives of millions of my people.

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Angela Davis: An Autobiography

Angela Davis: An Autobiography by Angela Y. Davis

First Published in 1974
Ebook Release Date: October 5, 2020
Audiobook Release Date: October 19, 2021 (Blackstone Publishing)
Hardcover Release Date: February 18, 2022 (Haymarket Books)
Genre: Biography / Non-Fiction
Format/Source: eARC provided by the publisher (Thank you, Edelweiss)
Page Count: 420

Angela Davis has been a political activist at the cutting edge of the Black Liberation, feminist, queer, and prison abolitionist movements for more than 50 years.

First published and edited by Toni Morrison in 1974, An Autobiography is a powerful and commanding account of her early years in struggle.
Davis describes her journey from a childhood on Dynamite Hill in Birmingham, Alabama, to one of the most significant political trials of the century: from her political activity in a New York high school to her work with the U.S. Communist Party, the Black Panther Party, and the Soledad Brothers; and from the faculty of the Philosophy Department at UCLA to the FBI's list of the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives.
Told with warmth, brilliance, humor and conviction, Angela Davis’s autobiography is a classic account of a life in struggle with echoes in our own time.

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Angela Davis: An Autobiography

My Two Cents

This was but a glimpse into the life of one of the most pivotal and prolific activists in the world and it packed one heck of a punch. I loved that Ms. Davis revealed her vulnerabilities, her doubts, her growth, her learning, and eventually her stance. She didn't just spout rhetoric — this book was full of her strengths and her flaws, her ups and her downs, her rise and her falls. What an incredible woman!

I was transported to Birmingham in the late 40's and early 50's, experiencing the blight that was segregation. I walked with her as she excelled at school, work and play... all around the world. I held her anger at the continued injustices the police, the politicians, the white public were inflicting onto innocent men and women. I felt her passion to provoke and inspire change. From her philosophical lessons to her charges of conspiracy, kidnapping and murder, Angela Davis took us along for all of it.

I spent as much time researching the people mentioned throughout this book as I did reading about them. My heart broke with hers over the senseless deaths of Jonathan and George Jackson. Her pain was all I could see when she went on trial with Ruchell Magee. Her words: [He] was all of us, not only in the way he was made a scapegoat of racism, but also in his resiliency, in his refusal to concede defeat.

While I did find the writing to be extremely dry, more textbook than story, I couldn't help but find myself lost to the history amidst the pages. The people she crossed paths with weren't just characters. They were people who lived and died, people who gave her so much, people who she connected to on another level. It is terribly difficult to find those types of connections these days. In a time with no cell phones and what we would call primitive technology, their words transcended small towns or major cities. They were spread across the globe!

And while I didn't agree with all of her ideology, I could see the logic behind many of her concepts and beliefs. Angela Davis is Black, a woman, and a communist. During the time period this autobiography covers, everything that made her... well her... was something to be persecuted. However, she had so much support that she couldn't let it get her down, even if she wanted it to. Despite the manipulations, lies, and illegal acts of those in the system, she didn't fall. She didn't waver. She stood strong and proud, knowing and understanding that it wasn't about her as an individual. She became a beacon for anyone who wanted to fight. A ray of hope for those who felt hopeless. She was someone to admire and respect and I love her for continuing to charge into battle to right every wrong.

Oh, you should check out this interesting interview I found between Angela Davis and Ava DuVernay:


  1. Thanks for reading this with me! I don't think I could come up with such amazing words to describe it. Another fantastic review, Nat!!

    1. LMAO as least you didn't find it as dry as I did. Thanks luv!

  2. This sounds like a fascinating autobiography. You must have learned a lot. The textbook style would kill me, though!


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