Angela Davis “Stunned” at Award Revocation, But Still Coming to Birmingham

On Monday, sent this statement in support of Davis to

“The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI)’s decision to rescind an honor previously extended to Angela Davis is only the latest incident in a well-documented nationwide campaign to censor and punish critics of Israel. Davis joins a long list of scholars and activists who have been censored fired de-funded defamed harassed and targeted with frivolous litigation because of concerted efforts by the Israeli government and anti-Palestinian organizations in the U.S. to silence debate.”

Davis was particularly looking forward to returning home.

“[It] was certain to be the highlight of my year,” she said, “especially since I knew Rev. Shuttlesworth personally and attended school with his daughter, Patricia, and because my mother, Sallye B. Davis, worked tirelessly for the BCRI during its early years.

“Moreover, my most inspirational Sunday School teacher Odessa Woolfolk was the driving force for the Institute’s creation.”

Woolfolk is an iconic figure in her own right, having been a teacher in Birmingham during the famous Children’s Crusade, when Birmingham young people faced down Bull Connor’s fire hoses and police dogs to help end legal segregation in the city.

She was one of two ex-officio BCRI board members who were not included in the executive session “emergency” conference call in which the board voted to rescind the award. The other ex-officio member is Birmingham mayor Randall Woodfin.

Woodfin expressed “dismay” at the decision in a lengthy statement released on Sunday, saying it “harks backward, rather than forward — that portrays us as the same Birmingham we always have been, rather than the one we want to be.”

This article previously appeared in .

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