Angela Davis collective reading session

On Tuesday, 10th of March 2020 our Aunt Rosa Library marked the International Women’s Day (8. 3.) with a collective reading session of chapters from Angela Davis’ book “Women, race and class” (1983).

Angela Davis is one of the most emblematic figures of black feminism. Davis is activist, academic, and communist, most famous for her work regarding prison abolition, women’s rights, racial justice, class justice and intersectionality. The first part of the evening was committed to a detailed presentation of her life. We were able to discover the path of the activist, we talked about Davis participation in the Black Panthers but also about Davis various forms of engagements. Large part of her work was focused on poor conditions of prisons and prisoners. Davis is also committed to the animal rights cause. In addition to the presentation, we also read a short extract from her autobiography. 

After the introduction, we focused on two chapters of her book “Woman race and class”  which increased our interest in the topic even more.

We began by discussing the 13th Chapter entitled “The approaching obsolescence of housework”. Davis makes an analysis of the daily work of the housewife and takes account of the situation of the housewife in a society where progress allows the household tasks to be less and less constraining. We compared the current situation with Davis’ and talked about sharing household chores in heterosexual relationships in order to determine whether the chores are equal or whether women are still the most constrained in carrying out daily tasks. 

We mentioned the case of Yugoslavia’s workers’ canteens, which allowed workers to free themselves from the daily chore of preparing meals. Then we presented 11th chapter of the book, entitled: “Rape, racism and the myth of the black rapist”. Davis discusses various cases of injustice related to different cases of oppression or stigmatization through rape.  Davis highlights several abuses experienced by different women during segregation. Based on her research, most of raping was done by the police. The victims of rape Davis writes about were never defended incourt. Davis also talks about how the stereotype of the animality of black people was used to exclude this minority from human right’s law. Davis mentions, for example, the case of Emmet Till, the 14-year-old boy who was tortured and killed just because he supposedly flirted with a white girl. This led us to talk about Sally Mann, the photographer who took pictures of the river where Emmett Till’s body was found. This photographer is very supportive of black people’s rights. 

The evening ended with reading excerpts from the two chapters in the circle. It was a moment of exchange where we were able to talk about this topic in 2020, which unfortunately is still very present. We also talked about many cases of rape in the film industry and the Me Too movement, taking the Polanski case as an example. We also talked about workers’ rights in the neo-liberal society. It was a very enriching evening. 

MISC INFOPEKA 2020 | Avtorji | Politika uporabe piškotkov