Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Reoffers Honor To Angela Davis
After deciding to withdraw an award honoring Angela Davis, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute board has once again reversed its decision and voted to give the activist and former Black Panther Party its Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award.
The institute had previously said that it would be honoring Davis during a ceremony in the museum’s gala next month. But after receiving backlash from the city’s Jewish community, the institute rescinded its offering to the Birmingham native.
Now, the institute has offered a new statement on why it has to decided to honor Davis after all according to AL.com:
“Dr. Angela Davis, a daughter of Birmingham, is highly regarded throughout the world as a human rights activist. In fact, the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study acquired her personal archives in 2018, recognizing her significance in the movement for human rights, her involvement in raising issues of feminism, as well as her leadership in the campaign against mass incarceration. Her credentials in championing human rights are noteworthy.”
Davis’ support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which is trying to rectify Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, is what initially incited the outcry against her honoring. As the Root notes, shortly after her honoring was announced, Southern Jewish Life magazine published an article commenting on Davis’ views.
“…Davis has also been an outspoken voice in the boycott-Israel movement, and advocates extensively on college campuses for the isolation of the Jewish state, saying Israel engages in ethnic cleansing and is connected to police violence against African-Americans in the United States,” the article reads.
Davis has yet to respond to the institute’s invitation.