Angela Davis Quotes
Angela Davis Quotes

These quotes by Angela Davis are thought-provoking, motivational, and can provide a new lens through which we view society. Angela Davis often discusses topics such as prisoner rights, class interests, and the status of women at length in her literature. She staunchly defends the rights of women, black people, and other marginalized communities that have had to bear the worst atrocities.

This list of Angela Davis quotes will surely give you a refresher on the topic of gender equality. The quotes also show how all of us should work with and help each other to progress in our personal and professional lives.  

Who is Angela Davis?

Angela Yvonne Davis is an American political activist, philosopher, academic, and author. She is a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. A Marxist, Davis was a longtime member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) and is a founding member of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS). She is the author of over ten books on class, feminism, race, and the US prison system.

Angela Davis  - Angela Davis - Angela Davis Quotes on Education and Leadership in 2021
Angela Davis

Inspirational Angela Davis Quotes 

These Angela Davis quotes will inspire you to move forward in a direction of progress.

  • “But there’s a message there for everyone and it is that people can unite…”
  • “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.”
  • “…As older people, we have to learn how to take leadership from the youth.”
  • “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.”
  • “Walls turned sideways are bridges.”
  • “Progressive art can assist people to learn not only about the objective forces at work in the society in which they live, but also about the intensely social character of their interior lives.”
  • “It is essential to resist the depiction of history as the work of heroic individuals in order for people today to recognize their potential agency as a part of an ever-expanding community of struggle.”
  • “Radical simply means ‘grasping things at the root’.”
  • “I’m no longer accepting the things I cannot change…I’m changing the things I cannot accept.”
  • “In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.”
  • “I decided to teach because I think that any person who studies philosophy has to be actively involved.”
  • “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.”

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Inspirational Angela Davis Quotes  - Inspirational Angela Davis Quotes  - Angela Davis Quotes on Education and Leadership in 2021
Inspirational Angela Davis Quotes

Angela Davis on Black Lives Matter

These quotes will tell you how your small efforts can turn into big things.

  • You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.
  • We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society. I
  • Revolution is a serious thing, the most serious thing about a revolutionary’s life. When one commits oneself to the struggle, it must be for a lifetime.
  • If they come for me in the morning, they will come for you in the night.
  • am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.
  • Radical simply means “grasping things at the root.”
  • I try never to take myself for granted as somebody who should be out there speaking. Rather, I’m doing it only because I feel there’s something important that needs to be conveyed.
  • Sometimes we have to do the work even though we don’t yet see a glimmer on the horizon that it’s actually going to be possible.
  • Revolution is a serious thing, the most serious thing about a revolutionary’s life. When one commits oneself to the struggle, it must be for a lifetime.
  • The idea of freedom is inspiring. But what does it mean? If you are free in a political sense but have no food, what’s that? The freedom to starve?

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Angela Davis On Black Lives Matter  - Angela Davis on Black Lives Matter - Angela Davis Quotes on Education and Leadership in 2021
Angela Davis On Black Lives Matter

Feminism by Angela Davis

Feminism is a movement for equality among all the genders. It not only helps women but also men, Angela Davis is surely a very strong advocate for feminism.

  • “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.”
  • “To understand how any society functions you must understand the relationship between the men and the women.”
  • “Revolution is a serious thing, the most serious thing about a revolutionary life. When one commits oneself to the struggle, it must be for a lifetime.”
  • “…we have to learn how to think and act and struggle against that which is ideologically constituted as ‘normal.'”
  • “We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society.”
  • “You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.”
  • “Feminism insists on methods of thought and action that urge us to think about things together that appear to be separate, and to disaggregate things that appear to naturally belong together.”
  • “Many of us then thought that what we needed to do was to expand the category ‘women’ so that it could embrace Black women, Latina women, Native American women, and so forth.”
  • “Black feminism emerged as a theoretical and practical effort demonstrating that race, gender, and class are inseparable in the social worlds we inhabit. “
  • “I often like to talk about feminism not as something that adheres to bodies, not as something grounded in gendered bodies, but as an approach- as a way of conceptualizing, as a methodology, as a guide to strategies for struggle.”
  • “I’m a feminist so I believe in inhabiting contradictions.”
  • “Feminism involves so much more than gender equality. And it involves so much more than gender.”
  • “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.”

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Feminism By Angela Davis  - Feminism by Angela Davis - Angela Davis Quotes on Education and Leadership in 2021
Feminism By Angela Davis

Angela Davis on freedom

Everybody is entitled to the freedom to choose and speak.

  • “I would say that as our struggles mature, they produce new ideas, new issues, and new terrains on which we engage in the quest for freedom. Like Nelson Mandela, we must be willing to embrace the long walk toward freedom.”
  • “In many ways you can say that the prison serves as an institution that consolidates the state’s inability and refusal to address the most pressing social problems of this era.”
  • “Imprisonment is increasingly used as a strategy of deflection of the underlying social problems—racism, poverty, unemployment, lack of education, and so on.”
  • “The process of trying to assimilate into an existing category in many ways runs counter to efforts to produce radical or revolutionary results.”
  • “I think that this is an era where we have to encourage that sense of community particularly at a time when neoliberalism attempts to force people to think of themselves only in individual terms and not in collective terms. It is in collectivities that we find reservoirs of hope and optimism.”
  • “No amount of psychological therapy or group training can effectively address racism in this country, unless we also begin to dismantle the structures of racism.”
  • “I don’t think we have any alternative other than remaining optimistic. Optimism is an absolute necessity, even if it’s only optimism of the will, as Gramsci said, and pessimism of the intellect.”
  • “Anyway I don’t think we can rely on governments, regardless of who is in power, to do the work that only mass movements can do.”
  • “But there’s a message there for everyone and it is that people can unite, that democracy from below can challenge oligarchy, that imprisoned migrants can be freed, that fascism can be overcome, and that equality is emancipatory.”
  • “If we do not know how to meaningfully talk about racism, our actions will move in misleading directions.”
  • “It is in collectivities that we find reservoirs of hope and optimism.”

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Angela Davis On Freedom  - Angela Davis on freedom - Angela Davis Quotes on Education and Leadership in 2021
Angela Davis On Freedom

Educational quotes by Angela Davis

Need a little bit of motivation to realize the importance of your education? You are in the right place!

  • “Optimism is an absolute necessity, even if it’s only optimism of the will, as Gramsci said, and pessimism of the intellect.”
  • “It is in collectivities that we find reservoirs of hope and optimism.”
  • “When black women win victories, it is a boost for virtually every segment of society.”
  • “I never tire of urging people to remember that it wasn’t a single individual or two who created that movement, that, as a matter of fact, it was largely women within collective contexts, Black women, poor Black women who were maids, washerwomen, and cooks.”
  • “We must begin to create a revolutionary, multiracial women’s movement that seriously addresses the main issues affecting poor and working-class women.”
  • “Human beings cannot be willed and molded into non-existence.”
  • “When Black women stand up— as they did during the Montgomery Bus Boycott—as they did during the Black liberation era, earth-shaking changes occur.”
  • “Trans women have to fight to be included within the category ‘woman’ in a way that is not dissimilar from the earlier struggles of Black women and women of color who were assigned the gender female at birth.”
  • “The struggle against racism must be an ongoing theme of the anti-rape movement, which must not only defend women of color, but the many victims of the racist manipulation of the rape charge as well.”
  • “We must always learn to lift as we climb.”

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Educational Quotes By Angela Davis  - Educational quotes by Angela Davis - Angela Davis Quotes on Education and Leadership in 2021
Educational Quotes By Angela Davis

Preventing rape quotes by Angela Davis

Violence never is the right way to go.

  • Do men rape because they are men, or are they socialized by their own economic, social, and political oppression—as well as by the overall level of social violence in the country in which they live—to inflict sexual violence on women.
  • The truth is that most rapists do not impulsively rape in order to satisfy an uncontrollable sexual passion. Instead, men’s motives for rape often arise from their socially imposed need to exercise power and control over women through the use of violence.
  • Furthermore, it is often assumed that rape is an act of lust and that, consequently, rapists are simply men who cannot control their sexual urges.
  • We cannot grasp the true nature of sexual assault without situating it within its larger sociopolitical context. If we wish to comprehend the nature of sexual violence as it is experienced by women as individuals, we must be cognizant of its social mediations.
  • If we assume that rape is simply a by-product of maleness, a result of men’s anatomical construction or of an immutable male psychological constitution, then how do we explain the fact that the countries that are now experiencing an epidemic of rape are precisely those advanced capitalist countries that face severe economic and social crises and are saturated with violence on all levels?
  • Most rapists are not psychopaths, as we are led to believe by typical media portrayals of men who commit crimes of sexual violence. On the contrary, the overwhelming majority would be considered “normal” according to prevailing social standards of male normality.
  • We will never get past the first step in eliminating the horrendous violence done to women in our society if we do not recognize that rape is only one element in the complex structure of women’s oppression. And the systematic oppression of women in our society cannot be accurately evaluated except as it is connected to racism and class exploitation at home and imperialist aggression and the potential nuclear holocaust that menace the entire globe.
  • Rape bears a direct relationship to all of the existing power structures in a given society. This relationship is not a simple, mechanical one, but rather involves complex structures reflecting the interconnectedness of the race, gender, and class oppression that characterize the society.

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Preventing Rape Quotes By Angela Davis  - Preventing rape quotes by Angela Davis - Angela Davis Quotes on Education and Leadership in 2021
Preventing Rape Quotes By Angela Davis

Angela Davis on capitalism

Capitalism develops our economy, but at what cost?

  • Racism is intricately linked with capitalism and I think it’s a mistake to assume that we can combat racism by leaving capitalism in place.
  • 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.
  • Whenever you conceptualize social justice struggles, you will always defeat your own purposes if you cannot imagine the people around whom you are struggling as equal partners.
  • It is essential to resist the depiction of history as the work of heroic individuals.
  • Racism cannot be separated from capitalism.
  • 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.
  • [Prison] relieves us of the responsibility of seriously engaging with the problems of our society, especially those produced by racism and, increasingly, global capitalism.
  • But there’s a message there for everyone and it is that people can unite, that democracy from below can challenge oligarchy, that imprisoned migrants can be freed, that fascism can be overcome, and that equality is emancipatory.

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Angela Davis On Capitalism  - Angela Davis on capitalism - Angela Davis Quotes on Education and Leadership in 2021
Angela Davis On Capitalism

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