The American civil rights activist and writer Angela Davis first met the German philosopher Herbert Marcuse at Brandeis University, where he taught from 1954 to 1965. After graduating from Brandeis, Davis decided to attend philosophy classes at the University of Frankfurt, where Marcuse had first achieved international recognition as a member of the famous Frankfurt School. During the 1960s, Davis became actively involved in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Black Panther movement. In August 1970, she was implicated in a deadly attempt to free black activists from a California jail. After spending eighteen months in prison, Davis was cleared of all charges on June 4, 1972. Her incarceration generated a massive outpouring of international support and solidarity, as can be seen in this photograph of the “Solidarity Congress” held in Frankfurt am Main around the time of her acquittal. A large crowd gathered on the city’s Opernplatz to hear a speech by her former mentor Marcuse.

The Example of Angela Davis (June 3–4, 1972)

  • Abisag Tüllmann


Source: Philosopher Herbert Marcuse speaks on Frankfurt's Opernplatz, June 3 –4, 1972. The event was part of the “Angela Davis Solidarity Congress” in support of Angela Davis and the Black Panther movement. Photo: Abisag Tüllmann.
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© bpk/ Abisag Tüllmann