Famous Quotes & Sayings

Angela Davis Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 100 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Angela Davis.

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Angela Davis Quotes 177360

In a sense the quest for the emancipation of black people in the U.S. has always been a quest for economic liberation which means to a certain extent that the rise of black middle class would be inevitable. — Angela Davis

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We have to look at for example the increasing globalization of capital, the whole system of transitional capitalism now which has had an impact on black populations - that has for example eradicated large numbers of jobs that black people traditionally have been able to count upon and created communities where the tax base is lost now as a result of corporations moving to the third world in order to discover cheap labor. — Angela Davis

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I grew up in the southern United States in a city which at that time during the late '40's and early '50's was the most segregated city in the country, and in a sense learning how to oppose the status quo was a question of survival. — Angela Davis

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When Bush says democracy, I often wonder what he's referring to. — Angela Davis

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I have a hard time accepting diversity as a synonym for justice. Diversity is a corporate strategy. — Angela Davis

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It is important not only to have the awareness and to feel impelled to become involved, it's important that there be a forum out there to which one can relate, an organization- a movement. — Angela Davis

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We have accumulated a wealth of historical experience which confirms our belief that the scales of American justice are out of balance. — Angela Davis

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I'm a feminist so I believe in inhabiting contradictions. I believe in making contradictions productive, not in having to choose one side or the other side. As opposed to choosing either or, choosing both. — Angela Davis

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The de industrialization of the US. economy based on the migration of corporations into third world areas where labor is very cheap and thus more profitable for these companies creates on the one hand conditions in those countries that encourage people to emigrate to the US. in search of a better life. On the other hand, it creates conditions here that send more black people into the alternative economies, the drug economies, women into economies in sexual services, and sends them into the prison industrial complex. — Angela Davis

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Progressive art can assist people to learn what's at work in the society in which they live. — Angela Davis

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We still have to struggle against the impact of racism, but it doesn't happen in the same way. I think it is much more complicated today than it ever was. — Angela Davis

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I think it's the right moment to talk about it because it is part of a revolutionary perspective - how can we not only discover more compassionate relations with human beings but how can we develop compassionate relations with the other creatures with whom we share this planet and that would mean challenging the whole capitalist industrial form of food production. — Angela Davis

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I never saw myself as an individual who had any particular leadership powers. — Angela Davis

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We must always attempt to lift as we climb — Angela Davis

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You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time. — Angela Davis

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Often young black people are looking towards the alternative economies. They are looking towards the drug economy ... the economies that are going to that apparently will produce some kind of material gain for them. — Angela Davis

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Well of course I get depressed sometimes, yes I do. — Angela Davis

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It's true that it's within the realm of cultural politics that young people tend to work through political issues, which I think is good, although it's not going to solve the problems. — Angela Davis

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Imprisonment has become the response of first resort to far too many of our social problems. — Angela Davis

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Human beings cannot be willed and molded into non-existence. — Angela Davis

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Prisons do not disappear problems, they disappear human beings ... — Angela Davis

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When someone asks me about violence, I just find it incredible, because what it means is that the person who's asking that question has absolutely no idea what black people have gone through, what black people have experienced in this country, since the time the first black person was kidnapped from the shores of Africa. — Angela Davis

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Revolution is a serious thing, the most serious thing about a revolutionarys life. When one commits oneself to the struggle, it must be for a lifetime. — Angela Davis

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It is both humiliating and humbling to discover that a single generation after the events that constructed me as a public personality, I am remembered as a hairdo. — Angela Davis

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I think in black communities today we need to encourage a lot more cross racial organizing. — Angela Davis

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To understand how any society functions you must understand the relationship between the men and the women. — Angela Davis

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Racism cannot be separated from capitalism. — Angela Davis

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Black women have had to develop a larger vision of our society than perhaps any other group. They have had to understand white men, white women, and black men. And they have had to understand themselves. When black women win victories, it is a boost for virtually every segment of society. — Angela Davis

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I think that the response to the OJ Simpson trial was based on a kind of sensibility that emerged out of the many campaigns to defend black communities against police violence. — Angela Davis

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First of all, I didn't suggest that we should simply get rid of all prisons. — Angela Davis

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I don't think it's necessary to feel guilty. Because I know that I'm still doing the work that is going to help more sisters and brothers to challenge the whole criminal justice system, and I'm trying to use whatever knowledge I was able to acquire to continue to do the work in our communities that will move us forward. — Angela Davis

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Racism, in the first place, is a weapon used by the wealthy to increase the profits they bring in by paying Black workers less for their work. — Angela Davis

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It doesn't surprise me that aspect of the black nationalist movement, the cultural side, has triumphed because that is the aspect of the movement that was most commodifiable and when we look at the commodification of blackness we're looking at a phenomenon that's very profitable and it's connection with the rise of a black middle class I think is very obvious. — Angela Davis

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Justice is indivisible. You can't decide who gets civil rights and who doesn't. — Angela Davis

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I'm no longer accepting the things I cannot change ... I'm changing the things I cannot accept. — Angela Davis

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Obviously there are some organizations that go out on the street and say we want an end to the capitalist system. But obviously that is not going to happen as a result of just assuming that stance. — Angela Davis

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Invisible, repetitive, exhausting, unproductive, uncreative - these are the adjectives which most perfectly capture the nature of housework. — Angela Davis

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Yes, I think it's really important to acknowledge that Dr. King, precisely at the moment of his assassination, was re-conceptualizing the civil rights movement and moving toward a sort of coalitional relationship with the trade union movement. — Angela Davis

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I believe profoundly in the possibilities of democracy, but democracy needs to be emancipated from capitalism. As long as we inhabit a capitalist democracy, a future of racial equality, gender equality, economic equality will elude us. — Angela Davis

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I think the importance of doing activist work is precisely because it allows you to give back and to consider yourself not as a single individual who may have achieved whatever but to be a part of an ongoing historical movement. — Angela Davis

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Feminism involves so much more than gender equality and it involves so much more than gender. Feminism must involve consciousness of capitalism (I mean the feminism that I relate to, and there are multiple feminisms, right). So it has to involve a consciousness of capitalism and racism and colonialism and post-colonialities, and ability and more genders than we can even imagine and more sexualities than we ever thought we could name. — Angela Davis

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Well of course there's been a great deal of progress over the last 40 years. We don't have laws that segregate black people within the society any longer. — Angela Davis

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We live in a society of an imposed forgetfulness, a society that depends on public amnesia. — Angela Davis

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Media mystifications should not obfuscate a simple, perceivable fact; Black teenage girls do not create poverty by having babies. Quite the contrary, they have babies at such a young age precisely because they are poor
because they do not have the opportunity to acquire an education, because meaningful, well-paying jobs and creative forms of recreation are not accessible to them ... because safe, effective forms of contraception are not available to them. — Angela Davis

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We have been basically persuaded that we should not talk about racism. — Angela Davis

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I think that has to do with my awareness that in a sense we all have a certain measure of responsibility to those who have made it possible for us to take advantage of the opportunities. — Angela Davis

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The campaign against the death penalty has been - while a powerful campaign, its participants have been those who attend all of the vigils, a relatively small number of people. — Angela Davis

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My name became known because I was, one might say accidentally the target of state repression and because so many people throughout the country and other parts of the world organized around the demand for my freedom. — Angela Davis

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Jails and prisons are designed to break human beings, to convert the population into specimens in a zoo - obedient to our keepers, but dangerous to each other. — Angela Davis

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Well I teach in the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. So that's my primary work. I lecture on various campuses and in various communities across the country and other parts of the world. — Angela Davis

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I'm suggesting that we abolish the social function of prisons. — Angela Davis

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Now, if we look at the way in which the labor movement itself has evolved over the last couple of decades, we see increasing numbers of black people who are in the leadership of the labor movement and this is true today. — Angela Davis

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And I guess what I would say is that we can't think narrowly about movements for black liberation and we can't necessarily see this class division as simply a product or a certain strategy that black movements have developed for liberation. — Angela Davis

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We cannot assume that people by virtue of the fact that they are black are going to associate themselves with progressive political struggles. We need to divest ourselves the kinds of strategies that assume that black unity black political unity is possible. — Angela Davis

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You can't criticize people for wanting to have a decent life or wanting to live decently. — Angela Davis

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That's true but I think the contemporary problem that we are facing increasing numbers of black people and other people of color being thrown into a status that involves work in alternative economies and increasing numbers of people who are incarcerated. — Angela Davis

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We don't go further than what Marx called the exchange value of the actual object- we don't think about the relations that that object embodies- and were important to the production of that object, whether it's our food or our clothes or our iPads or all the materials we use to acquire an education at an institution like this. That would really be revolutionary to develop a habit of imagining the human relations and non-human relations behind all of the objects that constitute our environment. — Angela Davis

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The work of the political activist inevitably involves a certain tension between the requirement that position be taken on current issues as they arise and the desire that one's contributions will somehow survive the ravages of time. — Angela Davis

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A fair trial would have been no trial at all. — Angela Davis

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I do think it's extremely important to acknowledge the gains that were made by the civil rights movement, the black power movement.Institutional transformations happened directly as a result of the movements that people, unnamed people, organized and gave their lives to. — Angela Davis

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Well for one, the 13th amendment to the constitution of the US which abolished slavery - did not abolish slavery for those convicted of a crime. — Angela Davis

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In this society, dominated as it is by the profit-seeking ventures of monopoly corporations, health has been callously transformed into a commodity - a commodity that those with means are able to afford, but that is too often entirely beyond the reach of others. — Angela Davis

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It is essential to resist the depiction of history as the work of heroic individuals — Angela Davis

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But at the same time you can't assume that making a difference 20 years ago is going to allow you to sort of live on the laurels of those victories for the rest of your life. — Angela Davis

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What I think is different today is the lack of political connection between the black middle class and the increasing numbers of black people who are more impoverished than ever before. — Angela Davis

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I would suggest is that in the latter 1990s it is extremely important to look at the predicament of black people within the context of the globalization of capital. — Angela Davis

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You can never stop and as older people, we have to learn how to take leadership from the youth and I guess I would say that this is what I'm attempting to do right now. — Angela Davis

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Racism is a much more clandestine, much more hidden kind of phenomenon, but at the same time it's perhaps far more terrible than it's ever been. — Angela Davis

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I don't know whether the movement crashed as a result of the overwhelming character of the institutions we set out to change. I think repression had a lot to do with the dismantling of the movement and also the winning of certain victories had something to do with the inability of the movement to take those victories as the launching point for new goals and developing new strategies. — Angela Davis

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My idea of philosophy is that if it is not relevant to human problems, if it does not tell us how we can go about eradicating some of the misery in this world, then it is not worth the name of philosophy. I think Socrates made a very profound statement when he asserted that the raison d'etre of philosophy is to teach us proper living. In this day and age 'proper living' means liberation from the urgent problems of poverty, economic necessity and indoctrination, mental oppression. — Angela Davis

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I'm thinking about some developments say in the 80s when the anti-apartheid movement began to claim more support and strength within the US. Black trade unionists played a really important role in developing this US anti-apartheid movement. — Angela Davis

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The process of empowerment cannot be simplistically defined in accordance with our own particular class interests. We must learn to lift as we climb. — Angela Davis

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Our leaders were assassinated, one of the things I was reading today was - 28 Panthers were killed by the police but 300 Black Panthers were killed by other Panthers just within - internecine warfare. It just began to seem like we were in an impossible task given what we were facing. — Angela Davis

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I can't really blame a lot of young sisters and brothers who believe that education has anything to offer them. Because as a matter of fact, it has nothing to offer them. Suppose they do get a high school diploma that is meaningful. What kind of job is awaiting them. The jobs that used to be available to working class people are not there as a result of the de-industrialization of this economy. — Angela Davis

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No march, movement, or agenda that defines manhood in the narrowest terms and seeks to make women lesser partners in this quest for equality can be considered a positive step. — Angela Davis

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Had it not been for slavery, the death penalty would have likely been abolished in America. Slavery became a haven for the death penalty. — Angela Davis

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I'm involved in the work around prison rights in general. — Angela Davis

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As soon as I got out of jail, as soon as my trial was over, first of all, during the time I was in jail, there was an organization called the National United Committee to Free Angela Davis, and I insisted that it be called National United Committee to Free Angela Davis and All Political Prisoners. — Angela Davis

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Walls turned sideways are bridges. — Angela Davis

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Well, we see an increasingly weaker labor movement as a result of the overall assault on the labor movement and as a result of the globalization of capital. — Angela Davis

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Kids these days are kind of going back to Tupac and Snoop Doggy Dogg as examples of people that stand for something. — Angela Davis

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Prisons do not disappear social problems, they disappear human beings. Homelessness, unemployment, drug addiction, mental illness, and illiteracy are only a few of the problems that disappear from public view when the human beings contending with them are relegated to cages. — Angela Davis

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I decided to teach because I think that any person who studies philosophy has to be involved actively. — Angela Davis

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When children attend schools that place a greater value on discipline and security than on knowledge and intellectual development, they are attending prep schools for prison. — Angela Davis

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There is an unbroken line of police violence in the United States that takes us all the way back to the days of slavery, the aftermath of slavery, the development of the Ku Klux Klan. There is so much history of this racist violence that simply to bring one person to justice is not going to disturb the whole racist edifice. — Angela Davis

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What this country needs is more unemployed politicians. — Angela Davis

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I guess I would say first of all that we tend to go back to the 60s and we tend to see these struggles and these goals in a relatively static way. — Angela Davis

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The food we eat masks so much cruelty. The fact that we can sit down and eat a piece of chicken without thinking about the horrendous conditions under which chickens are industrially bred in this country is a sign of the dangers of capitalism, how capitalism has colonized our minds. The fact that we look no further than the commodity itself, the fact that we refuse to understand the relationships that underly the commodities that we use on a daily basis. And so food is like that. — Angela Davis

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We are never assured of justice without a fight. — Angela Davis

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I think the lack of critical engagement with the food that we eat demonstrates the extent to which the commodity form has become the primary way in which we perceive the world, — Angela Davis

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As a black woman, my politics and political affiliation are bound up with and flow from participation in my people's struggle for liberation, and with the fight of oppressed people all over the world against American imperialism. — Angela Davis

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I think it's important for us to recognize that although historically black communities have been very progressive with respect to issues of race and with respect to struggles for racial equality, that does not necessarily translate into progressive positions on gender issues, progressive positions on issues of sexuality and in the latter 1990s we have to recognize the intersectionality, the interconnectedness of all of these institutions and attitudes. — Angela Davis

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I think we have to really focus on the issues much more than we may have in the past. I think we have to seek to create coalitional strategies that go beyond racial lines. We need to bring black communities, Chicano communities, Puerto Rican communities, Asian American communities together. — Angela Davis

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I think it is important to acknowledge the extent to which the black middle class tends to rely on a kind of imagined struggle that gets projected into commodities like kente cloth for example on the one hand and images like the Million Man March. — Angela Davis

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As soon as my trial was over, we tried to use the energy that had developed around my case to create another organization, which we called the National Alliance against Racist and Political Repression. — Angela Davis

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But at the same time you can't ... — Angela Davis

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I think we need to insist on a certain responsibility, which people have - particularly those who have made it into the ranks of the middle class because as [ Martin Luther] King said many years ago in a sense they have climbed out of the masses on the shoulders of their sisters and brothers and therefore, they do have some responsibility. — Angela Davis

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Where cultural representations do not reach out beyond themselves, there is the danger that they will function as the surrogates for activism, that they will constitute both the beginning and the end of political practice. — Angela Davis

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We can't talk about the black community. It's no longer a homogeneous community; it was never a homogeneous community. — Angela Davis

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Not only the brothers on the street but the middle class brothers are also identifying with the gangster rappers because of the extent to which this music circulates. It becomes possible for the - not only the young middle class men, but it becomes possible for young middle class white men and young men of other racial communities to identify with the misogyny of gangster rap. — Angela Davis