The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Alabama has decided to withdraw its own Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award from Dr. Angela Davis, political activist and academic icon of the mid 20th century, due to objections from some members of Birmingham’s Jewish community over her own Pro-Palestinian views.
In October 2018, Davis, a Birmingham native, was announced by the organization as the award’s recipient and would have a gala in her honor on February 2019. After her award was announced, some members of the city’s Jewish community and critics such as former Birmingham–Southern College president Charles C. Krulak were against Davis being the award’s recipient due to her own support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction movement against Israel over the occupation of Palestine. Davis said that she will attend an alternative event in Birmingham in February 2019.
Davis, a professor emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is famously known for her work in the civil rights movement in the 1960s and in the Black Panther Party as well the Communist Party of the United States of America in the 1970s. In 1970, Davis was arrested by the FBI in connection with San Raphael, California, courtroom shootout. She was accused of supplying weapons to the suspect who she was personal friends with. Two years later in 1972, was acquitted of all charges by an all-white jury in Santa Clara County.
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