High-profile civil rights activist speaks on campus

By Matthew Criswell

Angela Davis, an icon of the Civil Rights Movement, offered insight about her time as an activist to Fresno State students Friday as part of the CineCulture film series.

The film series screened the 2012 documentary “Free Angela & All the Political Prisoners” and was followed by a Q-and-A discussion with the  activist, and now professor, Angela Davis.

The film documented a period of time in the 1970s when Davis was wanted by the FBI and subsequently imprisoned for about two years.

“Angela Davis’ visit was very special. As an icon of the Civil Rights Movement, a range of diverse groups and communities attended the event,” instructor and club adviser Dr. Mary Husain said. “We moved to the Satellite Student Union in anticipation of a large audience.”

The visit by Davis was in the planning stages since September, and the CineCulture Club was honored to have her speak, Husain said.

“I had been in communication with her [Davis’] agent since last September in an effort to bring her to CineCulture, so I was thrilled when we were able to schedule a date,” Husain said.

Davis expressed her excitement to be able to speak in Fresno.

“It was so wonderful to be here in Fresno. I want to thank all of the organizations and individuals who were involved in the screening of this film and inviting me here,” Davis said.

Davis has a strong connection to the Fresno area. Rodger McAfee, a farmer from Caruthers, posted Davis’ bail in 1972.

Husain was very grateful for the turnout to this screening and to all of those who made the visit possible.

“I would like to thank the community for their support and our sponsors who made her visit possible. I’d also like to extend a special thanks to Dean [Vida] Samiian. Without her support, this event wouldn’t have happened,” Husain said. “It was an honor to host Angela Davis, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to organize films and speakers for the CineCulture course and film series.”